Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Oil Beetle in action

Sedge Warbler (digiscoped)

Sedge warbler by Weedons World
This Sedge Warbler has seemingly picked up some of the surrounding birds of the Nene Washes RSPB, including, to my ears, Marsh Harrier yelps, Redshank and Yellow Wagtail (a perennial Sedgey favourite). Can you hear any other phrases?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blackcap which thinks it's a Brambling

Blackcapcalls by Weedons World
This male Blackcap in Orton Wistow, Peterborough, today, was going mad on the calls, including a weird whine, more like a Brambling or Twite than a typical Blackcap 'tack'...
I have no idea what it was complaining at.

One more Ptarmigan

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Slavonian Weed Dance

A pair of Slavonian Grebes (or Horned Grebes if you are North American), perform a snatch of Weed Dance on Loch Ruthven RSPB, near Inverness (digiscoped video)

Oil Beetle, Nene Washes

I am not sure if I have seen an oil beetle in the UK before... This huge female either Black or Violet Oil Beetle (I'm not sure of the species, and would appreciate advice) was grazing on grass near March Farmers, Nene Washes on 17.4.11. Nearby, Will Bowell and I also found a male. Later, I will upload a little video, once I have removed the sound of Will making rude noises.
Oil beetles are very interesting creatures as I found out when visiting Bug Life Oil Beetle hunt The big flightless females feed on grass etc and get massive and lay eggs in a burrow. The eggs hatch as active little juveniles (triungulins), which climb up flowers waiting for solitary bees. When a bee arrives, the jump aboard, then get off at the bee's nest, where a stored feast of bee eggs, pollen and nectar awaits (after a quick change of form to a new type of beetle larva!). Next year, they will emerge as adults.
Bug Life are very interested in records of all oil beetles, so click here and join in. I have.

Ptarmigans, Cairngorm (DSLR)

Digiscoped Dipper, Findhorn Valley

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Digiscoped Ptarmigan (female)

Old Lady of Loch of the Lowes

We called in at Loch of the Lowes SWT to pay our respects to Lady, UK's oldest Osprey (26, I think), on the way up to Speyside last week. She was hanging around the nest, adorned with microphones and abundant cameras, while her mate (who apparently does all the fishing) was sitting in a birch in the distance.

Digiscoped Grasshopper Warbler

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 08, 2011

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Another cristana

I believe this is the second Acleris cristana for my garden actinic trap. It's a very different-looking beast to the one I caught before (see post on 24 March), but I think the the shape, pattern and the distinctive coarse scale tufts give it away.