Friday, 19 August 2016

Bird Fair 2016

It was Tracy,s first visit to the annual Bird Fair at Rutland Water today . I have been many times before and its a great place to catch up with old and distant friends and make new ones and today was no exception . Getting in early gave us both the opportunity to have a chat and a photo with wildlife film maker and BBC presenter Simon King. To all my old friends I saw today it was good to catch up with you all again .

Monday, 4 July 2016

Ringlets Wixall

Ringlets were out in good numbers at Wixall along the approach track to the Moss , where around thirty individuals were on the wing . These allowed good photographic opportunities when the sun eventually came out. This is a butterfly that's hard to come across in Cheshire where we live , so myself and Trace did not pass on this opportunity to capture a few images . We have photographed some rare butterflies in the last few weeks with Chequered Skipper in Scotland , Wood Whites in Warwickshire and Black Hairstreaks in Northamptonshire . But I still get that buzz when capturing a reasonable image of one of the commoner species of butterfly , below is a small collection of yesterdays Ringlets at Wixall.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Wixall Moss

Myself and Trace decided to go over to Wixall in Shropshire this morning as the weather looked promising , the aim was for me to try and get better images of the Large Heath butterfly. This is easier said than done as they always sit low down in the grass making it very difficult to get a clean shot as shown in the image below , nice butterfly crap photo far to messy.
It took a long time a lot of patience and a large amount of luck to get one that decided to sit up just long enough to rattle of a couple of images .
Ringlets and Large Skippers proved a bit more obliging .
Also seen on today,s visit were Brown Hawker , White-faced Darter , Black Darter , Southern Hawker , Stonechat , Curlew , Raven and the added bonus of a Glossy Ibis on flood water just before the entrance to Wixall.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Black Hairstreak Butterfly's

Glapthorn Northamptonshire once part of Rockingham Forest this 69 acre wooded reserve near Oundle has stands of blackthorn scrub with glades and grassy areas , this provides ideal conditions for the Black Hairstreak . They have one of the shortest flight periods of all the British species only lasting around three weeks , it is one of our rarest butterflies only found at a handful of sites in the East Midlands. On arrival we meet the warden Dick Smith and having not been to this reserve before he immediately pointed us in the right direction and we were soon enjoying very close views of this stunning Butterfly. Seven were seen in total along with good numbers of Ringlet , Large Skipper , Meadow Browns and Speckled Wood . My old friend Dave Hutton and Donna appeared from nowhere and were soon photographing what we had seen over the last hour.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Skippers (Hesperildae)

Small and moth like we have only eight species of Skippers in the UK. They live in discrete colonies in rough unfertilized grassland often hidden among vegetation , there flight is rapid skipping just above the grass heads . Below are six out of the eight showing underwing pattern only , missing yet to be photographed underwing are Dingy and Lulworth .
Grizzeled Skipper (patterned underside).
Chequered Skipper (again patterned underside but unmistakable).
Small Skipper (clear gold underside).
Essex Skipper (again clear underside but note the black tipped antenna).
Large Skipper (faint pattern on underside).
Silver Spotted Skipper ( greenish underside with silver spots ).

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Garden Moths

As you can see from the post below Tracey has done a excellent job of turning the garden into a insect friendly garden well done my dear. Moths are now coming on a regular bases and with the different varieties of flowers they are spoilt for choice , below are a few images from this weekend.
Ghost Moth.
Beautiful Golden Y.
Peach Blossom.
Buff-Tip.
Common Marbled Carpet.
Small Magpie.
Pebble Hook-Tip.
Poplar Hawkmoth.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Moth Night

Thirty two different species of moths were trapped last night with the weather conditions not being ideal it was not a bad catch really. Having moved into a new house just a couple of months ago most of the ones trapped last night were new for the garden .
Ingrailed Clay.
Angel Shades.
Lime Hawkmoth.
Unidentified Carpet species if anyone knows ?????????.

Small Elephant Hawkmoth

The image above shows the difference between Elephant and Small Elephant Hawkmoths. The Elephant is much larger and as a unmistakable pink and olive green forewing and pink and black hindwing ,and clearly defined pink pattern on olive green thorax and abdomen . The Small Elephant Hawkmoth is pink and yellowish brown and is much smaller , both flight periods are both the same between May and July and both came to light in our garden last night. Below are three images of the Small Elephant Hawkmoth.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Glasdrum Wood

This ancient woodland cloaks the slopes of Beinn Churalain rising steeply above Loch Creran , the woodland trail climbs through an atlantic rainforest . Ferns sprout from rocky crevices and lichens and mosses cling to branches , its moist , mossy and magical. More than 20 kinds of Butterfly live here including the rare Chequered Skipper which is what brought myself and Tracey to this wonderful place. On arrival at around 8-00 in the morning the temperatures was already reaching well into double figures and no sign of any midges unbelievable. We headed up from the car park and turned left under the power lines and within minutes came across our first ever Chequered Skipper. Within the first half hour we had found at least twenty along with several Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries a stunning fresh looking Painted Lady , Small Coppers and a variety of day flying moths . While I was off photographing the Skippers Tracey found a Golden Ringed Dragonfly another species which frequents this magical place.
Chequered Skipper.
Chequered Skipper.
Chequered Skipper.
Chequered Skipper.
Chequered Skipper.
Chequered Skipper.
Small Copper.
Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary.
Painted Lady.
Golden Ringed Dragonfly.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Garden Moths

A few more images of Moths in our garden.
Brimstone Moth.
Flame.
Clouded Silver.
Lesser Swallow Prominent.
Ruby Tiger.