Spiderlings on the March

We didn’t have to look far for the highlight of the day. The handle to our back door has been sequestered by a horde of spiderlings.

Spiderlings

I think these are the common garden spider (Araneus diadematus). They are tiny and were packed together in a tight group, resembling something akin to a hairy caterpillar. Periodically they would collectively wake up and stretch their many legs, before regrouping in the shelter of the door handle supported by a fine mesh of barely visible webbing.

Spiderlings

We left them there during the day while we got on with more tidying up, which is when I discovered a fine slow worm dozing under a discarded roof tile.

Slow worm

Slow worm

Slow worm

Overhead, starlings were taking their young for flying lessons. Numerous small groups flew over with the adult taking the lead. Later in the afternoon a small number of swifts circled high above the garden, too distant for any usable images.

We’d been keeping an eye on the spiderlings throughout the day, but nothing much happened until this evening. Tonight they went on a long march! All the way up to the guttering on the roof. It was touch surreal to watch the line of spiderlings seemingly ascending in mid-air (the webbing is very fine); but it was a very disciplined and orderly exodus and means we have the use door handle again.

Spiderlings

Spiderlings

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

This entry was posted in slow worm, Spiders, Wildlife and tagged , .

3 Comments

  1. Darko May 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Funny little things and I know how big they will grow. I wonder how many of them will survive….

    • Words May 18, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

      Darko, probably very few will make it through. They are very easy pickings for birds and other predators when they’re this small. No doubt a few will make it and the whole sequence will start all over again.

  2. derwandersmann May 23, 2014 at 5:16 am #

    Unique sight, Words! Fascinating shots!