This magnificent beast was slowly crawling around on our wall the other evening. Thanks for spotting it, John!
Lesser Stag Beetles lay their eggs in and live in dead wood, so I think it had probably come from the garden next to ours, where there's plenty of that. I'm planning to build a woodpile near the pond which will hopefully attract beetles and other creepy-crawlies.
Speaking of the pond, it's now entered the green phase, where the nutrients that have ended up in the water (from soil, plants etc) have got going and algae has started to grow. With a bit of luck, it'll settle down soon. Not having fish should make it a bit easier to keep clear.
There are hundreds of little mosquito larvae wriggling around in the pond now. That's not so good for us, but great for the bats (pipistrelles?) that hunt over the garden after dark. Dragonflies also eat mosquitoes, both above and below the water.
I was sitting by the pond this morning, eating my breakfast, when I heard and saw two Grey Wagtails fly over east. I've checked, and that's actually a garden tick. There isn't much running water nearby but they're not so fussy this time of year. Number 83 for the list.
photos taken with Canon Powershot A640