Red kites, frogs and a mystery butterfly

I know a bird isn’t a bug but when it is the impressive red kite, I figure it deserves a little space in this post

Living in Oxfordshire, these huge birds of prey (they mainly eat carrion) are a common sight, but yesterday was the first time I’ve seen one over the gardens at Wisley. A couple of months previously, I did spot one above Woking town centre - are these now commonplace in Surrey? If you live local to Wisley, have you noticed this fabulous bird (distinguishable from the Buzzard by its forked tail) recently? Or maybe it's been about for ages and I just haven't been very observant. Either way, I’d be interested to hear.

The frog that was out and aboutOur volunteers definitely have keen eyes: they spotted a common frog (right) out on the prowl on our plots recently.

We’ve been waiting for this spate of dry weather to pass in order to plant out some wildflowers and I guess frogs and other amphibians are also hoping for rain to bring out the slugs and snails.

The mysterious chrysalisThe last sighting was something of a mystery: a leaf-like structure hanging on one of the verbena plants. At first sight it appeared to be a chrysalis of some sort, but on closer inspection we thought it might be a well-packaged butterfly that has fallen victim to a spider attack. Have a look at our pic (left) and see if you can figure out what it might be.

Useful links

See Miranda Hodgson's blog about wildlife gardening

Discover how to encourage insects into your garden with the RHS Perfect for Pollinators lists

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