Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Black-tailed Skimmer

The Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly (Orthetrum cancellatum)

Fairly common species that can be found by open water in Southern England and some parts of Wales.

These shots are of the males that I found resting in the sun on a rock at the waters edge.
The have a tendency to fly away from and return to the same location frequently.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Bullfinch Juveniles

Last year in the Autumn I was able to photograph male and female adult Bullfinch eating Rowan berries from three trees in the parkland at a specific location.

However, as I walked by them this week I did not expect to find any birds on them just yet.
To my surprise there were two juvenile Bullfinch feeding away at the berries and completely undeterred by my presence.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Reed Warbler

The Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
I found this bird at the same location as the previous entry in the blog (Lesser Whitethroat), which is basically an insignificant little area with ivy clad low bushes on a strip of land between two of the lakes in the Parkland that I walk.

With reed vegetation alongside the three main lakes there has been nesting by this species in the area. That said, I would not normally find a Reed Warbler at this location away from the reeds. So I am assuming it may be staging through and fuelling up like all the other warblers I have seen here.

Interestingly, I have read that individual Reed Warblers (revealed through bird ringing records) use the same sites in Africa overwinter, the same reed beds here for nesting in Summer and the same staging posts en route during migration. Quite amazing.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Lesser Whitethroat

The Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca) is always a target species for me, as I never get to see it very often and this is the first time I have been able to photograph it with any success.

I believe this one I observed to be a first year male. 
(with the usual caveat regarding my limited bird ID capabilities).

This one is feeding up in preparation for its long journey to the South of the Sahara in Africa. I read that when it migrates to UK in the Spring, it does so via the Eastern Mediterranean and from there completes the journey to England in one flight, but on its return journey now it will stop off in Northern Italy.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Flying South for the Winter

Winter Migration is underway again.

There is a good spot in the Parkland (where I regularly walk) that is a staging post for our Summer visitors to stop off and feed up on a good variety of insects etc.

I can be fairly certain of finding the Spotted Flycatcher perched on open branches. They are easy to spot as they fly out from the branch, catch a fly and return back to the same perch. They don't mind if you approach quietly to watch them as well. See the first five images.

Spotted Flycatcher

Another species moving South is the Willow Warbler, see the next two mediocre images.

I was also fortunate to see on male Blackcap briefly as it moved through the branches.

As I was standing around waiting for Spotted Flycatchers to emerge, two of the bird below flew into the trees quite low down. So I was able to get these shots.
I believe it is juvenile Chiffchaffs, but I could be wrong and often have been.{:))

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A Short Woodland Walk

Another of my woodland walks.
There is still plenty to see of the season, but there are signs that as with everything being some six weeks early this year, things are appearing now that one would not expect just yet.

Blackberries are well in advance.

Gatekeeper Butterfly numbers, like some other species, have from what I perceive recovered well this year.

Many wild flowers have been a lovely show this year due to warm and wet weather. 

The season decline for some butterflies appear to me to be early.
The Silver-washed Fritillary Butterfly being an example in case. All of that species I see now are looking somewhat worse for wear.

A lovely show of Knapweed.

This Gatekeeper male although ragged in appearance was still flying strong and feeding.

A green tunnel, one of the places I am fairly certain to see Silver-washed Fritillary and Speckled Wood Butterflies during the season.

Green-veined White Butterfly. 
This female below has quite dark green lines for the time of year, they are normally more pale by this time.

I have shown this patch before in the blog. It produces much to see through the Spring, Summer and Autumn. Wild Orchids amongst the variety of flowers. A good number of butterfly and dragonfly species. However, in Winter it turns into a bog and not easily walked over.