Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A Woodland Walk

Images from my recent Woodland Walk.
Just a snapshot of what can be observed at the moment.


Green Acorns

The Red Tail. I have observed quite a few of these this year. Last year I don't remember seeing one.


A Speckled Wood basking in the sunlight that is shining through the trees.


Common Fleabane and Wild Mint


Another Brown Argus.



Wild apple trees grow in several locations around the woodland 


The place below normally provides for plenty of butterfly activity, although not quite so much this year.


The female Silver-washed Fritillary below is not looking at her best anymore.....


.....neither is the male.


The old hay rake still resides on the heathland 



There are still plenty of Meadow Brown Butterflies around......


....and Small Skippers.





I was very pleased to find a number of Painted Lady butterflies in several different areas of the more open areas of the woodland. A good increase on last years odd one.



Sloe fruit are plenty as always.



A good number of Small Tortoiseshell can be found in the area. I still search for that elusive Scarce Tortoiseshell which is similar with the noticeable absence of the brown around the central body area.


Hazel Nuts. Plenty around, but everywhere I observe the trees there is evidence of Squirrel activity with many empty shells on the ground.


Common Darter


Common Darter pair ovipositing 



Large White 

Male Brimstone

There are plenty of Haw berries already.



Common Darter in silhouette 


Large Skipper (female and male below)



This heathland area provides a good source of butterflies.



Friday, 19 August 2016

What Argus ?

Just a few days ago I was walking around the Heathland which forms part of the Woodland area that I regularly walk at this time of year in search of butterflies.

It was a bright sunny day and I was finding quite a few of the normal species that I would expect to find at this time. I was shooting a few images of a Small Tortoiseshell on a flower and my 'Spotter' (thats the Lady Wife) said that there was a different one very close by. I looked at it through the lens and just thought at the time it was a Brown Argus (Aricia agestis). 
As it was in such good condition I decided to take a few shots of it.

Later when examining the images on my Mac, my attention was drawn to the white spots with black spots in the centre on each outer wing. Looking at the books I have on the subject I began to think this was a Northern Brown Argus (Aricia artaxerxes). However, the map locations of known territory, mainly Scotland and the Northern regions of England just didn't relate.

I contacted the County Recorder and was advised that it was indeed a Brown Argus (Aricia agestis),  but of the known aberration snelleni. It has been recorded before at the location, but not often and rarely elsewhere in Eastern England.







Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Birds for a Change.

At last a few birds to look at I hear you say.
They are still more difficult to find at the moment amongst the dense foliage, but rearing young is coming to the end now so they will show more now as the main migration starts.

Walking up to the edge of a small river that runs across an open field I suddenly came in close contact with this Cormorant. I was so close that using a 70-400mm lens meant that I was right on top of it.
Normally Cormorants take to the air instantly if approached by Humans, this one didn't. (No wise cracks please)

I believe it to be a sub adult so perhaps it hasn't quite understood the danger as yet.





You can see from the image below that having made the turn into the wind its definitely going to get airborne.



I got this shot in below and then the tall grass and reeds got in the way.


Peering through hedgerow I was able to shoot a couple of images of this Whitethroat.



These Canada Geese were making a short flight across a field to land and feed by a large flock of Canada and Greylag geese.



In poorer light and having a short lens on I was only able to get this cropped shot of a Red Kite as it flew once over my position.


Immature Whitethroat  below hunting for food before its long journey South. 



This Grey Heron had encroached on another's territory and was soon chased off.