Sunday, 24 May 2015

Cotswold Specialities

With the promise of sunshine and no wind myself and Trace decided to go and find some of the Cotswolds Butterflies , with Marsh Fritillary , Duke of Burgundy and Britain's smallest Butterfly the Small Blue being our three target species for the day . We visited the first reserve for the Marsh Fritillary's and were not disappointed when we finally found the right two fields they were everywhere and I mean everywhere one small branch held fifteen feeding individuals.
With the Marsh Frits in the bag it was onto another reserve for Duke of Burgundy and Small Blue . Another problem was finding how to get into the right place but again once there it was magical with stunning scenery glorious weather and plenty to photograph. We just did not realise how tiny the Small Blue was which gave us another challenge in trying to get a reasonable shot , we found a small area of bare ground were at least 20 individuals kept coming down to sunbath .
With two out of the three target species now in the bag it just left us with the Duke to find and it didn't take long before we were looking at one through the lens , around six were found in a small corner of the reserve and we were told that this was not the place where their stronghold was . There was a lot more of this reserve which we did not see so that's for another day but the place we were had plenty to keep us occupied with Forester Moth , Six-spot Burnet , Latticed Heath , Common Heath and Mother of Shipton all photographed along with a selection of weird looking bugs.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

A Weekend in Wales....

Two days.. two reserves and two new butterflies... Despite the lack of sun this weekend we headed up to Wales to try and find the Grizzled Skipper and the Pearl-bordered Fritillary ....
Grizzled Skipper
Green Hairstreak
A cave dweller and his dog .....
Dingy Skipper
Slow Worm..
Pearl-bordered Fritillary..

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

After the Rain !!!!

Just when we thought the wind and rain wouldn't ease bank holiday Monday was lovely and the sun came out..... which meant so did the insects ..... I wondered what Steve found fascinating about flies but when you start to look and notice them they are quite charming in a weird sort of way !!!!!!
Around our pool saw the first Damselfly A large Red
And here is Mrs Flycatcher checking out her new patch ...

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Black Redstart in Staffs.

After the rain stopped this morning myself and Trace were wondering were to go for a few hours then we remembered a report of a female Black Redstart at Silverdale Colliery yesterday. With heavy rain and strong overnight winds it was very unlikely that the bird would have moved on so off we set. On arrival a quick phone call to a good friend of ours Nick Smith and the bird was soon located , but as usual in dull light it showed well and when the sun came out it proved very illusive that's birding for you I suppose.

Friday, 1 May 2015

First Lady

For three years I have watched a male Pied Flycatcher return to our wood and sing its heart out for a female all to no avail. There has not been a female Pied in the wood since 2009 except for NOW . This morning I checked on the male as normal only to find him doing cartwheels around his tree and to my utter surprise there was a female and closer inspection showed she was wearing bling , a metal BTO ring on her right leg . It did not take long for the male to show off his surroundings and his des-res to his new partner. I stayed my distance to let her settle in but the young boy was showing off as usual.
Checked on the pair of Redstart,s later and they seem to be doing well and settling down fingers crossed.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Redstart,s Return

I have been waiting nearly one year for my favourite birds to return to our wood , I have put loads of nest boxes around to attract them ,and finally there back tonight two males and one female Redstart were watched and photographed feeding happily around some old oak trees in the wood. Below are a few record shots as I do not want to get to close until they have settled down .

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Pied Flycatcher

The Pied Flycatcher is still present in our wood and with a little patience and a bit of luck you can get very good views .

Saturday, 25 April 2015

On the wing .....

The recent spell of sunny weather has seen the emergence of this years first butterflies ....
Peacock
Green Veined White
Green Hairstreak
Orange Tip
Brimstone

A day of two halves .....

Friday started off well and just got better ... As Steve opened the curtains he was greeted with our Pied Flycatcher that arrived in the wood the day before ..
After a wicked half hour of him posing well we left him in peace and strolled around the rest of wood... I just managed a fleeting shot of the little Goldcrest ..
And a cheeky Blue Tit ..
After breakfast we decided go to a favourite little spot of ours just outside of Buxton but as always we took advantage of any photos on the way ....
Before we even got to our destination Steve suddenly abandoned the car in middle of the road and shot off down to the river where he had caught sight of a Water Vole .... AMAZING little creature .... the Vole not Steve ...
His neighbours where a nesting pair of Dippers ...