30 Days Wild 2018 – Day Twenty-five

twt-30-days-wild_countdown_25Day 25: Today’s Close Up Monday is all about goldfinches.

This colourful finch has been on the increase in the UK, mainly due to changes in feeding habits, enjoying seeds from garden feeders. They ranked #6 in the 2018 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

A very sociable bird, in autumn they flock in charms of 100+.

They predominantly eat seeds (sunflower and niger among others) but also eat aphids. Males are the only ones who can access the seeds from teasel heads. In Victorian times they were captured in their thousands for caged displays. They can have up to three broods a year and nest in trees and bushes.

In the past my yarden has attracted charms of some 20+ birds. Do you have any goldfinches visiting your feeders? They are such pretty birds.

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine x

Advertisements

30 Days Wild 2018 – Day Four.

download (1)Day 4: Mondays in June will become Close Up Mondays. Where I pick an insect, mammal, bird or amphibian and get up close and intimate.

Today’s Close Up is with the cellar spider, (pholcidae), most commonly (or incorrectly named) daddy long legs. I found this little guy while vaccuming the dinning room. He was proudly sitting on a web in a dark corner of the room.

Cellar spiders are part of a sub family of arachnids called Araneomorphae which mean they have fangs that cross in a pinching mechanism! There are around 1,500 different species in this family and are found all over the world except Antarctica.

cellar spider

They are fragile looking arachnids, with a small body of 2-10mm in length, with legs 50mm long. TarantulaDan‘s video informs that they predate on other spiders webs, even killing the original inhabitant by vibrating and mimicking trapped prey! Who would have guessed that such a delicate looking spider could be a web stealer! Therefore their diet consists of mainly other spiders and their offspring.

They are harmless to humans.

Needless to say the spider in question was captured in a glass and released into the yarden.

What are your thoughts on spiders such as the cellar spider?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine x