Acorn-hunting jay, Wightwick Manor

Acorn-hunting jay, Wightwick Manor

Jay on the ground under an oak tree at Wightwick Manor, hunting acorns. The Heritage Open Days held every year in September give the chance to visit the site without the usual entrance charge. The gardens and grounds are so extensive that it’s possible to find undisturbed spots away from the crowds where the wildlife is still showing itself unconcerned.

Packed lunch (spider/fly)

Packed lunch (spider/fly)

Garden cross spiders are quite noticable, one of the largest spiders in Britain, quite common through the summer and autumn. The orb webs the females build can be large – and easy to spot when covered in droplets of early morning dew. The pictures are of one which has caught a fly in its web, and is now wrapping it in silken threads to be a later meal.

Packed lunch (spider/fly)