I mentioned to Tish this afternoon that it might be a good idea for her to begin cataloging the fauna in and around her garden
I began soon after I got my first digital camera a few years ago. Initially all I wanted to do was photograph a few birds, but it wasn’t long before I realised just how many different species visit our spot.
From a few shots of birds I began to look around the garden with a more curious eye and started to see ”wildlife” I had hardly noticed before, and some I had never seen or realised was there.
Over these past few years this has helped me develop a greater awareness of what is literally all around me and also a greater appreciation, to the extent that one summer when the grass had become particularly long after the mower had broken, we had to ensure that the grass was Mantis -Free as we began to clear away the grassy backlog of several weeks!
Over this period I have lost almost all fear of spiders and this includes encounters with Sac Spiders and Widows, the only two spiders of medical significance in my garden, who are far more inclined to hide away rather than leap out and maul one to death! And also, I am now able to handle the much larger rain spiders.
One begins to learn the habits and habitats of a myriad of ”creepy crawlies” and by actively going out on the prowl one encounters all sorts of creature one might otherwise never encounter in a lifetime of living with them, sometimes almost cheek to jowl.
Our garden has revealed snakes, spiders, scorpions, raptors, mice, a rat or two, and a frog – for the first time in seventeen years. Numerous species of butterflies, and over forty species of birds.
I keep folders on a month to month basis and this helps keeps track of the frequency of visitors over any given period.
Here, then is a list of some of the species I have photo- cataloged so far ….
Birds – 47 to date ( there are also a couple more that I have not photographed, including a Hammerkop that visited the pond a few years ago)
Butterflies – 46 to date, and there is one species of swallowtail that visits every year nd I have yet to manage a single photograph!
Moths – 15. Here I am a bit vague as several of the species are similar and I am no expert so I may have more on my list than I am aware of.
Spiders – 21 so far.
Beetles – 10 species.
Ants – 3 (identified) I have only photographed I species – a large sugar ant.
Bees – 9
Scorpions – 1
Snakes – 1
Mantids – 3
There are plenty more, including a single visit from a Genet!