Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Small Skipper, male

Image taken in field margin at Big Waters.

Some lush vibrant colours there.
On the other hand i captured this small moth at home. I was disappointed to see it described as nondescript. I was quite taken by it.

Small Dusty Wave.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Have you got 30 minutes spare ?

If you can find the time tune into the best nature programme on radio namely Saving Species.
This particular episode comes from the Farne Islands and Long Nanny featuring ..........yep, seabirds.
Listen to it on BBC i player HERE.


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Bee Orchid

I have to thank Brian of northumbrianbirding for his information to locate these beautiful plants in North Tyneside. I visited early yesterday morning hoping for some nice light but with plenty cloud cover ended up returning later in the day. Ironically the site was one of the first places i used to visit after my bilateral knee replacements and it is a place i call by from time to time. Checked the ponds for Dragons and Damsels and was rewarded with a number of Azure Damselflies and a single Hawker which, unfortunately was only a very brief sighting and couldn't make out the exact species. I was keeping an eye out for Broad-bodied Chasers but none were located.

Thanks again Brian for giving me the opportunity to view these fantastic flowers, much appreciated.
You must double click the images to appreciate the detail......knockout.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

Excellent day out with John (Howdon Blogger) on Sunday down Teesside and after a late sighting of a couple of Greenshanks in Saltholme headed back ( we had been there previously at 7a.m.) to Greatham Creek and hooked up with a Pectoral Sandpiper and what a nice sighting it was to. No more than 25 metres below us probing the mud in one of the pools to the right of the path leading out to Seal Sands. One of my favourite birds viewed in recent time. A joy to behold.
Monday evening i went out looking for Long-eared Owls and at 10.25 p.m. had one drifting in from my right and landing on a post in front of a pylon in decent light for viewing but not for any images. I glanced down at my watch to note the time and looked up again...........yep, it had gone!. A couple of calls to my right again , this time from some trees and 2 minutes later a Long-eared Owl was again hunting in front of me over the open field but having enjoyed watching it for a couple of minutes it flew out of sight behind the ridge of the rise of the field. Hung around for another half hour or so and heard one more distant call but left it at that. The light had totally gone by now and the moon was behind cloud cover.
Yesterday i managed to persuade my better half to come out and visit Blanchland with me. Having initially parked in the village and have a look around we headed along the 1/2 mile to Baybridge to the picnic area next to the bridge and had a bite to eat before walking back along the river. Before we left for our walk we had a mooch around the trees and gorse bushes spotting loads of juvenile birds and briefly coming across a Sedge Warblers nest buried in the grasses. Close encounters with Dippers, Pied and Grey Wagtails along the river bank but by far the highlight this absolute stunner hanging like a Hawker from a gorse bush.
The female of the species with its long straight ovipositor is the largest of the Dragonflies in this country.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Common Tern at Dukes'

No wheels again so Shanks's Pony was saddled and the Rising Sun was the destination. I've been scouring the ditch between the housing estate/ farmers field and the hillside plantation and was finally rewarded with Large Red and a couple of Blue-tailed Damselflies. With a smile on my face and a spring in my step i continued on to the ponds at the corner of the wooded area and had sightings of lots of Large Reds, many of which were in tandem and some ovipositing and a single Common Blue Damsel. Birding was disappointing initially and i passed Swallow Pond and continued on to Hadrians Pond. Nothing too exiting here with Coot, Moorhen and Mallard all supporting families and very fleeting glimpse of a Damsel but not time to I.D.
The skies had progressively filled with black threatening clouds, as per the forecast, and i was equipped for any downpours. I was wishing for the rain as the previous day i had come across a mass of tadpoles squirming in mud in an extension ditch from one of the ponds and had been rain dancing for them ever since. Sadly the two heavy showers i had while out only managed to dampen me down before i had time to put my waterproof on but hardly touched the ground. The Dukes Pond meadow was examined again but the wind had increased with the impending rain. Dancing flora meant, not surprisingly a lack of insects so i turned my attention to the pond itself. No Damsels have shown here yet but it is a slightly exposed area and the sight of 3 German Shepherds chasing about at the edge of the water after a ball some numskull kept throwing in for them had me squirming and wondering what effect it might have as the waterside vegetation where a lot of the Damsels here hang out was being obliterated. The dogs and their imbecilic owner were having a good time so that's the main thing i suppose.
A Little Grebe called from the reeds and a pair of Canadas with 5 young were being observed along with a few Tufties when one of the Common Terns from Swallow Pond drifted over and started to feed. A fantastic sight as far as i'm concerned. I love the lazy flight of this species, lolloping along, until it decides to move. Spent a cracking 20 minutes as it went through its full repertoire while fishing very successfully. The Chris Packham thigh rub was much in evidence for most of this time.
Poor light at this time, high ISO so lots of noise cleaned up on Lightroom.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Large Skipper on Northern Marsh Orchid

I'm sticking my neck out here.
The above statement could be wrong on both accounts. I only got into Butterflies last summer and was shown my first Wild Orchid in the field a few weeks ago by City Birding. Anyway, that aside, the image has two great subjects and the colour in my humble opinion i think is lush. See what you think.
The image was captured at the Rising Sun in the meadow surrounding Dukes Pond. Anyone visiting in the coming months MUST visit this area and as the summer progresses and temperatures rise loads of brill insects will be uncovered in amongst the grasses and wild flowers.