“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.”
– Elizabeth Lawrence
June has been a fascinating and exciting month here in the grounds of Beefayre, I don’t think we’ve ever had so many fledged birds as we have this year. Strange weather; chilly, grey, odd days of sunshine and lots of rain but abundant busy meadows, full of flowers and bees! Our solitary bees have occupied our wall of bee houses and most of the holes have now been filled, another generation in the process of creation. There are so many different species, I’m slowly increasing my knowledge but it’s complex and there’s so much to learn! I also found a field cuckoo bee, I’m waiting for confirmation but I’m relatively sure that’s what I found, it’s the right habitat!
I’ve been avidly feeding all the baby birds; we had a young jackdaw for several days, he seemed lost but he was well fed and has gone on his way now. Starlings return daily with their young to feed on the mealworms they love. Yesterday, I spotted a young chiffchaff, so cute, on the balcony here. Our coal tits fledged their young mid June, so lovely to see them feeding from their mum, same goes for the newly fledged woodpeckers, so vibrant in their distinctive plumage.
Another striking visitor mid June, was a handsome grey wagtail, stunning with his grey and yellow plumage enjoying the insects to be found on one of our ponds. Nuthatches and our reed bunting call daily, I haven’t seen their young but they’ll be here. Moths have been making an appearance, scarlet tiger and cinnabar were two beautiful visitors this month, so striking, no wonder people think they are looking at butterflies!
Our swan family is doing well and certainly better than last year. Sylvie has 3 healthy large cygnets with appetites to match. It’s been fascinating watching her teach her babies to feed. One day she harvested literally hundreds of yellow flag reeds, then showed the babies how to shred the long leaf and feed themselves despite making a lot of mess on our lake!
Our most interesting plant is in full flower now and each year new blooms appear. Southern marsh orchid appeared here about 7-8 years ago and they like the sunny bank of the lake and it’s always such a joy to see them in bloom again. I’ve no idea how they arrived here, but they are rare, in fact I’ve just read they have not been reported in Leicestershire, since 1978! Each year new blooms appear, complex interesting plants, so much more to learn.
I’ve just been to take more images and a raven flew by overhead, how special. It’s quite incredible the increase in biodiversity on our small plot here, really shows what can be done and what will appear once the habitat is created!