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The warm humid evenings of late July and early August have brought out the flying ants again. These are the very common black pavement ant, Lasius niger. A few years ago we had a nest in one of our large plant pots and it was amazing to see
'm hoping this year's event takes place on a weekend, so I can witness it in full swing. In the meantime I'm finding out how to provide the right conditions for the latest wildlife gardener's accessory: an ant hill.
, and my brain just could not cope with the notion that a woodpecker could be up there.I now know (I've looked it up in books) that these glorious birds are after insects in the turf, as well as dead wood, and that ants are a firm favourite. So I
scale, Parthenolecanium corni, is a beast of curious form indeed. It hardly looks like a living creature at all, and more like a small wart on the plant stem. I noticed them for the first time when photographing ants running up and down the branches
Garden Birdwatch.Birds will only visit gardens where they feel safe. The ideal bird-friendly garden has a mixture of trees and shrubs for birds to shelter in, a lawn from which ground-feeding birds can forage for ants and worms, and a wild, grassy area
the middle names, which we had to guess. It was all very tricky and they thought I was joking when I spelled out …A…N…T…. It took some vigorous arm waving to finish the message …O…N…Y…above the laughter.
and there was no sign of a nest (just the usual giant slugs, earwigs and some ant eggs). I'm not sure how I'll feel if it does start a family – my garden isn't big enough to support many – but for now I'm happy. Perhaps it's just a lone mouse scouting for a hibernation
mind, I seem more aware of the other inhabitants of my compost heap. Last Sunday I noticed some sort of eggs had been laid on the underside of the lid; further down there was an ants’ nest, while masses of worms, rove beetles and woodlice writhed
of ants scaled this giant, slicing through branches with their machines.I was quite upset but, ever the optimist, I used the opportunity to collect some local, native logs to make a nice wildlife habitat in my mum’s garden. I was sure she wouldn’t mind