Tag Archives: wildlife

The Buzz on Bees

bee panels (6)_PM EDIT

The Hidden Gardens commissioned artist Lucy Payne to design some new interpretation panels all about bees. The panels are located in some of the most bee-centric areas of the Gardens: the White Wall Border, the Mint Border, the Herb Border and the Floral Meadow. Have a look for them next time you are in the Gardens!
You can also find pictures of the panels in our flickr album.


Name that bee!

150709 What bee is this

Pop quiz! What kind of bee is this?

A: Common Carder
B: Buff-tailed Bumblebee
C: Honey bee

The answer is…D! Not a bee! This is a ‘Merodon equestris’, a species of hoverfly. Like many other hoverflies, it has evolved to look like a stinging insect as a defence mechanism.

Isn’t nature fascinating?

Life, uh, finds a way

This is a photo taken by The Hidden Gardens’ Director, Amanda, at her allotment. Can you guess what this is?

This photo is taken through a hole in the gate where the bolt goes. There’s a little space under the bolt, and in the space, there’s a blue tit nest! The little yellow squares are the little baby blue tits peep-peeping away.

AP baby blue tits

Ah, they’re a bit bigger now. We can kind of see these are birds, but…

momma blue tit AP

…here’s the photo that proves it! A mama blue tit glaring up at you. Good catch, Amanda!

Moth survey at the Gardens

A few nights ago Richard Weddle from Glasgow Natural History Society visited the Hidden Gardens again to set up his overnight moth trap. It was a beautiful night, but maybe too clear as we didn’t get that many moths the next day. Quality rather than quantity though, resulting in this beautiful golden Barred Yellow moth.

Barred Yellow_June_2014

And he did uncover a couple of Broad-leaved Helleborine plants – a rather uninteresting-looking orchid (some may say) that is actually quite common in Glasgow along woodland edges, and even in some domestic gardens, but we’re very happy it has decided to make a home here in The Hidden Gardens.

Also, another successful year for the blue tits nesting in one of our bird boxes as they fledged last week.


Wildlife Activities

bee at the herb border

Last week we had a staff training session about the Wildlife Activities Andrea and Paula have been developing. I’m in the Gardens most days, but I rarely slow down enough to really see the Gardens.

My favourite activity was to notice the smells of different plants. The lemon balm (which I mistook for mint…) smelt so fresh. I try to notice the developing smells and colours of the Gardens each day as a result. I hope everyone can experience the Gardens at their own pace, too.

Many of the plants smelt beautiful. Sadly not all flowers smell nice, as I found out after shoving my face into a plant with a bit too much vigour.


Fantastic Mr Fox visits the Gardens

Please excuse the grainy shot - it was taken with a mobile phone, not a still from a horror movie
Please excuse the grainy shot – it was taken with a mobile phone, not a still from a horror movie

Fox cub in the meadow –I watched a beautiful young cub in the Gardens yesterday evening, cautiously stepping onto the lawn, then dancing around in the meadow; a gift from the Gardens in the evening time.

He’s been spotted in the Gardens a few times. Let us know if you see him!


Dawn Chorus at The Hidden Gardens

We didn't see this guy at the Dawn Chorus this year, but he's pecking around the Gardens so often he's practically staff!
We didn’t see this guy at the Dawn Chorus this year, but he’s pecking around the Gardens so often he’s practically staff!

It’s traditional to wash your face in the dawn dew on the 1st May, but hardy volunteers and staff, joined by Alan Wood from Starling Learning, got a thorough wake up with wind and rain on our annual Dawn Chorus event.

It was all worthwhile when we heard and saw 13 different kinds of birds, some who were just visiting like the flock of Swallows, and some more familiar garden residents such as Blackbirds, Starlings and the noisy but tiny Wren.

We were left with lots of snippets of info: Long Tailed Tits aren’t Tits, and Dunnocks used to be called Hedge Sparrows even although they’re not Sparrows.

After sharing a lovely breakfast and hot cuppa we were ready to get on with the day, and The Hidden Gardens had added 2 new bird species to our list (swallow, lesser black backed gull).


Our top three Most Wanted for November and December

novemberdecember wildlife watchHave you seen any of these guys around the Gardens? They’re our top three to look out for!

On the left we have the Fieldfare. We’ve already seen one recently, but we’re hungry for more!

In the middle we have the Redwing. Similar to the Fieldfare with a speckled belly, and similar to a Song Thrush, but with a fantastic flash of red.

Finally on the right we have the Waxwing. There’s no mistaking this guy! Waxwings are a flighty bunch, so you’ll have to be quick to spot these colourful wonders.

You’re most likely to see these birds in the avenue of trees. Let us know if you see any!

Fieldfare in The Hidden Gardens

Fieldfare in The Hidden Gardens

We were happy to spot a Fieldfare in The Hidden Gardens this week. They’re listed as red status by the RSPB as they don’t usually breed in our neck of the woods.

Fieldfares are Wildlife Watch’s “Beast of the Month” for November. There are plenty of facts about these friendly thrushes. Our administrator is particularly taking note of how Fieldfares protect their nests by pelting enemies with poo…

Let us know if you see any interesting wildlife in the Gardens!