Friday, 3 August 2018

Small Copper.

This is my fourth year of walking the same 1770 metres transect through ancient oak woodland and on Tuesday I recorded my first ever sighting of the Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) on this walk.

Their appearance can only be attributable to the continued hot, sunny weather. A bonus find that lifts my transect specie tally to 25.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Black Darter.

Flying relatively late in the season I always look forward to finding our smallest resident Sympetrum, the Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) also known as the Black Meadowhawk to my North American friends.

During a very recent stroll along the boardwalk at Thursley Common I initially saw several males erratically flying and then disappearing into the vegetation. Eventually I spotted this immature female hiding amoungst the grasses but she was being buffeted by the stiff breeze so capturing a well focused image was a challenge.

The territorial males briefly use the same perch in-between their forays so with a bit of patience I eventually grabbed a few images.

The blackest species of this genus and the only one in which mature males do not become reddish but display an extreme colour change from their distinctive contrasting yellow-with-black to wholly black. 

These last three shots were taken last August and serve to illustrate this colour change.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Silver-studded Blues.

The Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) is a rare species that locally inhabits acid heathland which requires habitat management to provide a succession of sparse young heather. All these images were shot at Thursley Common in late June.

Whilst I failed to find a female on her own there were plenty of opportunities to capture mating pairs.

Friday, 22 June 2018

The Hobby.

In a recent post "Fast Fliers" on my main blog I featured the Hobby (Falco Subbuteo). 

I spent another few hours on Thursley Common today mainly to obtain some images of the prey this bird favours, particularly dragonflies and damselflies, but I could not pass up the opportunity to try and grab some more shots of this aerial acrobat. 

There were two birds on the wing and they never came very close to me so I had to use the 70-300 lens at full stretch and all the shots have been cropped.

Typically eating its prey on the wing.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Reed Bunting.

A male Reed Bunting.