Monday, June 26, 2006

Black Hairstreaks galore

The tatty specimen, and the not so tatty...

Now for the incidentals...

Female Large Skipper

For the third weekend running (25.6.06), my daughter Jasmine and I went to Glapthorn Cow Pastures, Northamptonshire, to try to watch and photograph Black Hairstreak butterflies. Two weeks ago, none were flying, last weekend there were loads but they werre buzzign arounfd the Blackthorns and rarely descending to nectar. Yesterday, there were still plenty around the Blackthorns, but a few also were ont he brambles, including a tatty individual and a much finer specimen (with just a small hole in its right hind wing). Enjoy, and don't forget to click on each image for a larger version.
Canon Powershot A95.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hornet Clearwing

This has got to be one our most amazing insects – a brilliant wasp mimic, but actually a clearwing moth. When I arrived at about 8.30am (21.6.06) at the site in Dogsthorpe, Peterborough (thanks to a phonecall from Kevin 'Pinky' Durose, who lives round the corner), the big one, which I take to be a female, was clinging to the host poplar, head up, with her abdomen raised in pheromone-wafting mode. Within a couple of minutes a male flew in and immediately tried to mate. It failed on the first attempt, so flew around me for a bit, looking amazingly like a big wasp. Then it was back and got into mating pose straight away.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Black-necked Grebes 2

Black-necked Grebes, June 2006.
Canon Powershot A95, Kowa TSN-823 + 32xWLER

Large Red Small Heath

Small Heath butterfly and Large Red Damselfy photographed at Swaddywell pits, Cambs, 10.6.06.

Canon Powershot A95 (click small pics for biggies)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Large Skipper

This Large Skipper (a male) was the only butterfly in my garden last night (15.6.06). It was the second time one has appeared in the garden. The garden list is 21 specie sof butterfly – not bad for a suburban garden about a mile from Peterborough station.
The list is as follows:
Orange-tip; Small White; Green-veined White; Large White; Brimstone;
Small Copper; Brown Argus; Common Blue; Holly Blue;
Small Skipper; Essex Skipper; Large Skipper;
Red Admiral; Comma; Small Tortoiseshell; Peacock; Painted Lady;
Meadow Brown; Gatekeeper; Ringlet; Speckled Wood.
I suppose one day a Small heath may drift our way, or even a Clouded Yellow, or perhaps a Green Hairstreak or Wall Brown, but other than that, it is mor ea less a full house for the garden.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Picos miscellany

Scarab beetle (deceased)

View from the top at Fuente De

Midwife Toad, Fuente De

Man Orchid, Fuente De

Red Helleborine, Lebeña

Forester, Fuente De

Great Spotted Woodpecker (juvenile), Lebeña

Tiger beetle ?sp, Lebeña

Lime Hawkmoth, Fuente De

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Fuente De

View at Cabañes
You may have gathered from the previous two posts that I have been down in the Picos de Europa. A full trip report will appear on within a week...
Here are some photos of things non-bird (except one) and non-butterfly. Enjoy (and click for biggies as usual).
Canon Powershot A95

Picos birds

Red-backed Shrike (male) and moth (probably SIlver-Y), Brez

Wryneck at nest-hole, Cabañes

Redstart (singing male), Lebeña

Collared Dove on the Pride of Bilbao, Bay of Biscay

Snowfinch, Fuente De

Alpine Chough, Fuente De

Here are some of the best bird photographs I mustered during my early June trip to the Picos de Europa, Spain. (Click each photo for a larger version).
Canon Powershot A95 + Kowa 823 + 32xWLER

Picos butterflies

Black-veined White, Fuente De

Pearly Heath, Lebeña

Provençal Fritillary, Lebeña

Marsh Fritillary, Brez

Queen of Spain Fritillary Fuente De

Common Blue, Lebeña

Common Blue and crab spider, Lebeña

Clouded Yellow, Lebeña

Small Blue, Fuente De
I've been off once more in Spain in the Picos de Europa (via the Bay of Biscay) guiding a Company of Whales trip promoted by Bird Watching magazine. The weather was fantastic, in contrast to my May trip, and there were masses of butterflies doing the rounds. Here are a few of the ones that I managed to photograph.
Canon Powershot A95