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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Butterflies & Damselflies 29-5-09

A run out on the bike to check the local ponds for Dragonflies etc: cycling down a track a small butterfly lifted and past me , Speckled Wood it flitted off but turned and re-settled on Bramble from where it had come, always keeping its wings closed, it has damage on one wing but chased anything that came near, very nice to see especially as it was the first of the year, Blue Tailed & Common Blue out in small numbers at the first stop but too far for photographs, but the next pond held much larger numbers of Azure & Common Blue, with also several Large red Damselflies,good numbers of Peacock & whites, also a couple of Orange Tips, but no Painted lady,stopped at Holywell pond but it was too nice a day for hides and as there was not much about headed back out, still a few Lapwing chicks on the flash in the field, a couple of Grey Partridge flushed but rather quiet on the bird front, although Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat singing at most locations.
always sat with it's wings closed , could be the damage or the fact it was very warm in this area it was resting

Usually they just flit off but this sat around for some time

Speckled Wood, showing a lot of damage to the wing, I think this is a female

First Comma of the year also showing damage , but it is harder to tell with the species

Common Blue Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Friday, 29 May 2009

Harthope Valley , etc: 28-5-09

Some images I forgot to put on from Harthope , you really need special wide angle lenses to get the scale
The Hawsen Burn joins the Harthope Burn

Looking back down the Valley along the stream

Plenty of Sheep in the valley so you have to be aware of Ticks

Cheviot in the background

I am sure I have come across this before , common along the wall at Cresswell

Cant find it as yet I must get to grips with my Wildflower Key

A number of these at Woodhorn Church as I past down to the pool, the pool seems to have lost most of its edge for waders.

Blackbird in the garden "giving something the oval eye"

juvenile Starlings in numbers in the garden and surrounding area, very raucous

Zebra Spider or Jumping Spider

Small Copper my first of the year and a first for the garden , reading accounts of the Painted Lady invasion in huge numbers in the south would be worth seeing, I have only had 2 so far, but it is a Butterfly I have seen on the high tops, I had numerous sightings in Fuerteventura, but they where very pale and looking worn.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Harthope Valley 24-5-09

Another day in the Harthope Valley on Sunday it was very busy, well for here anyway, I was feeling a little worse for wear so did not get too far,still no Spotted Flycatcher at the parking end , Green Woodpecker again very vocal, and Whinchat singing from the hillside ,surprising how far the song carries took me ages to spot thinking it was not far up the hill, a pair of Wheatear feeding young near where we where parked, several Red Grouse, two walking parallel to each other calling, Dipper on the stream but only the one, Buzzard over. It was quite sunny but with a strong cool breeze, only found the one Adder in a sheltered spot by a rock

A lot of wing fluttering from the Whinchat, digiscoped as it was some way off

Doesn't it always happen a Red Grouse just yards away and me with just my digcam , it was much further off by the time I got my camera

Common Milkwort, not sure what the long green leaves are from

Violet Ground Beetle Carabus violaceus ?

A moth dropped in beside me or I would never have seen it, Grass Wave ?

Came across an Adder it was using the rock to reflect the heat, I watched it for some time

Fabulous looking creature, quite content as I took these shots ( no photographer was injured in the taking of these shots :) )

A fairly large specimen

Red Grouse on the hillside another walking parallel to it just out of shot, digiscoped

Head patern are unique to each snake , will have a look for this one again , it was still there about an hour later, so I had not disturbed it in any way

Close-up of the skin ,the overlapping plates sticking up slightly in the tight curve.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Newbiggin/Cresswell 23-05-09

Started the day at Newbiggin to look for the Bluethroat, plenty Butterflies on the way to the Golf Course, gave it about an hour but no sign of it, Stonechats, Sedge, & Whitethroat with also a quite a few Orchids , Starlings passing on a regular basis from the greens back to their nests so I tried to get a couple of shots as they passed , On the way to Cresswell House Martins and Swallows picking mud from a pool, Cresswell still had the Goosander and a couple of Common Terns but not much else and that was as far as I got, having left early and unable to get petrol I thought it better to get back home and fill up, although that sign at Newbiggin has petrol for 86p a litre , you know the one before "Belly Busters" & "The House of Pain" (no not a Dentists a Tattoo shop which I think is now closed)

Sedge in the Brambles

Stonechats looking stunning in the strong light

Tried a few shots as they past by nearly got there but not sharp

Another mystery bird no that would be too easy especially as the answer is below

The problems of trying to photograph birds , this Goldfinch only turned to face me with this empty bottle as background.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Mystery Bird 22-5-09

Spent an afternoon in the garden getting some photos of the flowers or weeds as the garden book calls them, have added this shot of a bird at first could not even remember taking it let alone I.D. it

Welsh Poppy ?

not sure where the Bluebells have come from

Dandelions the plague of gardeners and green keepers, but are they not just a fantastic bit of kit to disperse seeds, very effective they are too!!!!!