Swifts – did you know?

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swiftswift on water 2

Did you know … Swifts pair for life, meeting up each spring at the same nest site. The nest is located high up in the roof space under the eaves of old houses and churches where the birds are able to drop into the air from the nest entrance. The nest is built by both adults out of any material that can be gathered on the wing, including feathers, paper, straw, hay and seeds. It is cemented together with saliva, and renovated and reused year after year.

Isn’t that wonderful? And we can help them – read more here via The RSPB: Swift: Breeding and here

swift on water

Yesterday I saw a Comma …

Comma

Yesterday I saw a Comma in the garden – the first of this year. Do hope there’ll be more. It’s ragged wing edges are so obvious it’s an easy one to spot. The wing undersides are brown with a white mark shaped like a comma – hence its name. It was on a Common Nettle (Urtica dioica) – telling me what more of my work must be today! While I’ll keep some nettles for the Commas I need less in the garden as they’re strangling other plants. The Comma also uses Hop (Humulus lupulus), elms (Ulmus spp.), currants (Ribes spp.), and Willows (Salix spp) – I’ve got willow and currants in the garden, and a special place for the nettles :-), so they’ll do all right.

comma underwing

via Butterfly Conservation – Comma.

Garden Tips from the Butterfly Conservation

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Dig It: Find Your Garden Favourites

July is a great time to sit outside and enjoy the rewards of your gardening efforts.

Many plants will be in full bloom, providing a feast for the eyes as well as a nectar buffet for butterflies and other beneficial insects.

It is now you will start to notice how successful certain plants are at attracting different species. Make a note of the most popular to inform future planting decisions.

Don’t forget to dead-head fading blooms to keep your flowers and the butterflies coming back throughout the season.

via All Aflutter – Back In Time For Butterflies

BBC – Earth – The truth about bees

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honeybee

Excellent article about bees …

“Everyone loves the honeybee. We humans have been drooling over its honey and prospering from its powers of pollination for millennia. But our worship of this one species, understandable as it might be, is a sign that something has gone wrong. It’s the perfect example of our ruthlessly human-centric, overtly practical view of the natural world.”

via BBC – Earth – The truth about bees.