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One of our cats sat motionless on the edge of the pond today, head drooped down almost touching the water as if he were asleep. But the occasional tic gave him away: he was watching newts. The bright sunshine lit up a corner of our triangular pond, just where the water is deepest...
What's the point of having a compost heap unless it's to breed fruit flies. That's the way my entomologist's mind works. During the summer great clouds of them billowed up every time I dumped the kitchen waste. They got in my eyes and hair
, I stressed. So long as the cats did not see it, it would find its own way back to some suitable shelter.Despite our pond housing a successful smooth newt colony, we have never had frogs breeding in it. They do climb into the water, and one year we
(believe it or not) I do have a monograph on them. They breed in various types of decaying organic matter and are apparently common around sewage works. I've found several different types over the years: a fuzzy golden one in a treacherously boggy wood
I have cats. Every so often I have to live with the guilt that they kill the local wildlife. It's usually one of the mice breeding in the compost heaps or a blue-tit fledgling. The main hunter is the black and white one; lovely and soft and over
of North Africa and Southern Europe, it migrates north each year with the good weather, establishes new breeding colonies and the local offspring move north again. It reaches the UK most years, and sometimes in spectacular numbers; 2005 and 2006 were good
're probably breeding in the jungle-like ivy growth that threatens to engulf our shed further up the garden.A couple of hours later, the first speckled wood, Pararge aegeria, appears, looking velvety fresh. The likelihood is that it has just emerged from
in Dulwich Woods, Beckenham Place Park, and a few other woodland places, but the ones flying past my back door are breeding in long-lost and forgotten subterranean root systems, buried logs and stumps no longer visible on the surface. But every year gardens
. This is probably not one of the soil-dwelling species, and is more likely one of the very many others that breed in dead wood, fallen branches, logs, tree stumps and sodden raised bed timbers. A gentle recycler, rather than a potato fiend.Along with it was a small
, breeding in our small pool. I always associate the imperial aeronautics of the emperor with much larger water bodies like lakes, canals and flooded gravel pits. None of those exist in East Dulwich... so who knows?