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Plants Page 5

Image Taken on 17 Feb 2015 at 15:50    Image of day on 01 Apr 2015

The Willow trees provide a feast of protein in the form of pussy willow that the Bluetits really know how to 'harvest'. The birds pluck out a piece of the down, bite off the nutritious end to eat, and discard the 'fluff' as you see just to the left of the head in the rightmost image. Below the bird are the wrecked sites of earlier feedings.

Ref: 20150401_df2_20150217_1550_240+242+244 bluetit feeding on pussy willows 1+3+5 of 5 (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Feb 2012 at 12:31    Image of day on 01 Mar 2012

Bluetits particularly enjoy eating Silver birch catkins. The final (rightmost) image includes a tiny morsel in the tip of the beak.

Ref: 20120301_df1_20120201_1231_036+1232_090+12_33_122 bluetit feeding on silver birch catkins 1+4 +6 of 6 (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 19 Dec 2013 at 10:48    Image of day on 04 Feb 2014

One of many Bluetits eating the buds from one of two Viburnum Birkwoodii at the back of the pond that flower in December and brighten an otherwise dull time of year. Of course the birds eating the buds is itself attractive, but it does reduce the floral display!

Ref: 20140204_a77_20131219_1048_018+019 bluetit feeding on viburnum buds & flying off 2+3 of 3 (accurate montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Jun 2016 at 15:01    Image of day on 09 Jul 2016

A Bluetit skimming over the sodden grass and buttercups. The bright colours suggest that this is a male.

Ref: 20160709_e62_20160601_1501_097_fb5 bluetit flying over grass and buttercups (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 25 Dec 2014 at 12:19    Image of day on 03 Feb 2015

Looking through a 'V' in the same intervening Ash tree we see a Bluetit picking over the buds of this winter flowering Viburnum'Burkwoodii'.

Ref: 20150203_dc1_20141225_1219_089 bluetit in viburnum bush (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Jul 2012 at 15:35    Image of day on 04 Sep 2012

Many Bluetits, juveniles and adult, have been feeding from an aphid infestation on thistles around the conservatory (yes, we are truly wildlife gardeners!).
Here we see an ant just a moment before it went 'down the hatch'. The ant would have been drinking honeydew from the aphids but the Blue Tit was probably eating both ants and aphids!
Thanks to for providing corrections to our original text

Ref: 20120904_df1_20120730_1535_075 bluetit juvenile eating aphids from thistle (crop 2)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 26 Jul 2014 at 15:37    Image of day on 03 Oct 2014

The young Bluetits often hang from thistle and other flowers to feed on them. This one was enjoying itself outside the conservatory, and we caught the moment of departure complete with a right claw full of thistle down it carries away.
"Great seed dispersal" the plant might say, if it could think.

Ref: 20141003_df2_20140726_1537_043+045+047 bluetit juvenile hanging from thistle & leaving 1+3+5 of 6 (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Apr 2008 at 13:16    Image of day on 07 May 2008

Black poplar's moment of glory is (for us) the red catkins. The dropped catkins make a slippery mess all up the track. The trees don't leaf for a few weeks yet. Oh - and there is a blue tit!

Ref: 20080507_da1_20080422_1316_050 bluetit on open black poplar catkins (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 22 May 2012 at 06:35    Image of day on 23 Jun 2012

And here a bird exiting, pausing for a moment on the TV aerial lead when he realised we have appeared while he was inside.

Ref: 20120623_df1_20120522_0635_036 bluetit perched on cable as it leaves nest hole over utility room (crop)(r+mb id@432).jpg

Image Taken on 21 Jan 2012 at 16:04    Image of day on 21 Feb 2012

Just a little delight.

Ref: 20120221_d45_20120121_1604_124_fb1 bluetit standing on fir cone (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 05 Feb 2012 at 15:47    Image of day on 28 Feb 2012

A portrait of a delightful Bluetit making a welcome splash of colour in the sea of white snow.

Ref: 20120228_d45_20120205_1547_174_fb1 bluetit with fir cone in snow(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 13 Feb 2008 at 13:55    Image of day on 11 Mar 2008

The catkins are out on a few of the willows, and the bluetits are making the most of it. Catkins contains load of individual florets and the bird has pulled out a single one in it's beak.

Ref: 20080311_da1_20080213_1355_070 bluetit with willow catkin fragment in beak(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Jun 2011 at 07:30    Image of day on 02 Jul 2011

A few days later they are learning to find their own insect food. Here are 2 that were exploring a willow tree for insects.

Ref: 20110702_df1_20110602_0730_210 2 bluetit youngsters in willow (adjusted crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Dec 2016 at 12:52    Image of day on 30 Jan 2017

On a dead branch of a pollarded Willow tree with rather attractive fungus caught our eyes. It seems to be a called Turkeytail. This common fungus is atypically thin and quite small - 3 to 4cm across.

Ref: 20170130_df3_20161222_1252_015 bracket fungus turkeytail (trametes versicolor) on dead willow branch - natural view (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Dec 2016 at 12:53    Image of day on 30 Jan 2017

Bending the branch to improve the light and angle demonstrated that it was truly dead by snapping off. The main image is the top view of 3 'brackets', and the insert at top right shows the unexpectedly featureless white underside.

Ref: 20170130_df3_20161222_1253_027+1255_047 bracket fungus turkeytail (trametes versicolor) on dead willow branch - top view + insert of bottom view (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image of day on 31 Jul 2005

The same Brimstone butterfly flew to a young Beech tree and 'vanished'. A search revealed him under a leaf and this montage shows how the marks of the butterfly match typical beech insect damage marks.

Ref: 20050731_p20_1020760&1020765 brimstone butterfly camouflaged under beech leaf montage 2005jul23_15-25-12(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 21 Feb 2019 at 12:48    Image of day on 21 Mar 2019

The female Brimstone butterfly was also enjoying the Viburnum flowers. In flight she did not show the vivid yellow on the top of the wings that the male sports.
When we reported this sighting to 'Natures Calendar' for 21 Feb it was said to be 'earlier than expected'. We looked through our 20 years of photos and indeed have only a single record for mid-March and otherwise all April or May. Ask for more details if you would find them useful.

Ref: 20190321_df3_20190221_1248_011 brimstone butterfly female feeding on viburnum flower (1st of 2019)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 28 May 2009 at 14:23    Image of day on 27 Jun 2009

The female hung about the garden for hours giving us the chance to get this unusual sequence of her feeding from a late bluebell, and then backing off from it. Note her rolling up her proboscis as she goes.
Sequence starts top left and goes clockwise.

Ref: 20090627_cf1_20090528_1423_062+64+65+66+69 brimstone butterfly female flying off from bluebell (20fps) 05+07+08+09+11 (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 23 May 2009 at 15:27    Image of day on 15 Jun 2009

The Female Brimstone butterfly does not sport the vivid yellows of the male (click to view top) the male (click to view top) and (click to view bottom)

Ref: 20090615_d01_20090523_1527_075+1315_137 ft1 brimstone butterfly female in flight bottom view with red campion (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Apr 2019 at 10:46    Image of day on 15 May 2019

This female Brimstone Butterfly doesn't have the bright yellow top of wings of the male, but still has the orange spot at the wing centre.
These two moments of flight are about a third of a second part.

Ref: 20190515_df5_20190418_1046_004+006 brimstone butterfly female in flight on ivy 1+2 of 2 (accurate montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg




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