Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Dark Green Fritillary.

During a very blustery morning on the slopes at Juniper Bottom I saw my first Dark Green Fritillary of the season. This powerfully fast flying male led me a merry dance but I eventually gained just one opportunity as it briefly rested amongst the grasses. FAB.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Stags in Velvet.

The local Red Deer stags are beginning to sport their bright summer coats together with their new seasonal antlers which will be fully formed by mid to end of July.

Each antler grows from an attachment point on the skull called a pedicle and and grows faster than any other mammal bone. While in growth it is covered by highly vascular skin called velvet. 

Linking to:
Saturday's Critters
Nature Notes
Through My Lens 

Monday, 13 June 2016

More Damsels and a Skimmer.

White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes).  

This immature female (form lactae) was one of two individuals recorded on my woodland butterfly transect over the weekend. This individual was fairly close to Flag Pond hiding in the grasses but the other was over 300 metres away perched on a bramble leaf. Apparently it is not unusual to find an immature up to 5 km away from water!

The next two images can only be classed as record shots.

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

The females occur in five different colour forms. This individual with violet sides to the thorax would appear to be an immature female (form violacea) which will mature to have either male-type but pale-blue colouration (form typica) or olive green thorax plus a brown S8 (form infuscans).

A male Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas).

Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

This was the most prominent dragonfly on the wing during my wander around the ponds in Bushy Park with the males (image above) taking a very brief rest in-between patrolling their territories, chasing away other males, whilst looking for a female to mate with.
I eventually located the distinctively coloured teneral / immature, possibly female (image below) hiding deep within the grasses some way away from the water.

Linking to:
Nature Notes.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Demoiselle, Damsel and a Dragon.

A wander around Horton Country Park yesterday produced my first opportunity this season to grab images of three Odonata species.

First up was a single male Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) lurking quite deep amongst the grasses in one of the meadows.
The next species was a pair of Azure Damselflies (Coenagrion puella) mating deep down in the waterside vegetation at the pond.

The other species also located at the pond was a male Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). I spent some while with this obliging dragonfly so there will be more images posted on my main blog very soon.  FAB.

Linking to:
Saturday's Critters
Through My Lens

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Feeder Birds: Siskin.

For this week's edition of WBW I am raiding the archives to share a few images of  Siskin (Carduelis spinus). 

All images were taken during an early March visit this year to Warnham L.N.R. where a hide provides an excellent opportunity to get reasonably close to a wide variety of birds making use of the various feeders.

One of our smallest finches with a relatively long, narrow bill for a finch and distinctive short forked tail. The image above is a juvenile. In the south-east during the winter many of the birds will be migrants from northern Europe and then, with some exceptions, there is a general migration northwards to breed mainly in conifer plantations.

The females (see above) are typically drabber than the males (below) that sport their very distinctive black crown and bib in full breeding plumage.

Linking to:
Wild Bird Wednesday

Friday, 3 June 2016

Some Spring Highlights.

Treecreeper in Ashtead Common woods. (8 April)

Ring Ouzel at WWT Barnes. (18 April)

Cuckoo in Priest's Field, Thursley Common. (28 April)

Northern Wheatear in Priest's Field, Thursley Common. (28 April)

 [Northern] Lapwing over Rushett Farm fields. (1 May)

Mistle Thrush in a local horse paddock. (3 May)

Brimstone on Bluebell - Ashtead Common. (3 May)

Duke of Burgundy at Bonsai Bank, Kent (12 May)

Singing Yellowhammer on Witley Common. (19 May)

Canada gosling at Epsom Common Stew Pond. (23 May)

Adonis Blue [male] on Denbies Hillside (27 May)

Blue Tits - sucessful breeding in the garden. (28 May)

Linking to: