Sunday, 21 August 2016

Barn Owl

When you come across a wild Barn Owl it just stops you in your tracks , silent majestic such a joy to watch in action.

Stratford Butterfly Farm

We paid another visit to Stratford Butterfly farm to see if there was anything new about and again we was not disappointed, I would recommend it to anyone who has no been .
Hamadryas amphinome.
Pathenos Slvia violaceae
Methona confuse.
Chlosyne gaudialis.
Colobura dirce.
Kallima paralekta.
Cethosia cyane.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Waders Returning.

This is one of the best times of the year to visit our coastline and inland waters as this is the time of the year for returning Wader passage. Look closely amongst the flocks of Dunlin and you could be rewarded with the much rarer Curlew Sandpaper.
Around our lakes and reservoir's you could be rewarded with a Wood Sandpiper.
Also the cousin of the Redshank the more elegant Spotted Redshank.
You could even be rewarded with a very rare bird like the one found at Blithfield Reservoir today a vagrant from American shores the appropriately named Lesser Yellowlegs.
This one was photographed some years ago at Thornham in Norfolk.

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 .

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Stratford ...

Its been a couple of months since we last visited the butterfly farm at Stratford , as it had forecast a cloudy day we decided this was the only chance we had of seeing any butterflies flying .... On checking their web site it seemed they had got a few new species to photograph,,
While we were there we bumped into one of Steves mates John and his son Alfie ...
Alfies new pet ..... The abundance of flowers and plant life out now in there is amazing ..
And lurking in the under growth ....
Finally a few more beauties ...

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 ).

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Black Guillemot,s

On a recent trip to Scotland we paid a visit to Oban,s Black Guillemot colony which just happen to breed in and around the harbour walls , making it easy for photography. They did not disappoint with around a dozen birds performing well early one morning even coming to sit on the steps next to the road.
If you want to see these charming little fellows close up then Oban is the place.