Sunday, 31 August 2008

Common Lizard

Emerging from the heather

To show its size

Something different today when I was fortunate enough to get pictures of one of our reptiles the Common Lizard. It was I think the first one we have seen this year and not where I expected to see one, on the fence rail in front of one of the seats at Raptor View Point, Wykeham Forest.

A nice sunny morning early on it was getting quite misty by late morning spoiling possible sightings of raptors.

This was a quick visit before going home to strip the wallpapere off the longe, we are in the middle of a rewire!

Anyway the lizard appeared on the rail to the left of us out the top of the heather bush, it went back down the bush once before coming onto the rail again. I took some pictures at distance before moving nearer but I was surprised it did not move off as usually the slightest movement they detect and they are gone. Perhaps being on the fence rail helped.

I did think this lizard was one of the biggest we have seen.

There was a lot of grasses and grass heads between the lens and the lizard but it was nice to get pictures today before picking up the wallpaper scraper.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Great Black Backed Gull

Yesterday we had a walk between Rooks Lane, Burniston and the Long Nab Observation Station, now an Observation post for Scarborough Birders formerly the Scarborough Ornithological Society in search of the Marsh Harriers that had been present in the area for 4 or 5 days.

No joy with the cream crowns (Marsh Harriers) a pair of Kestrel are present in the area and worthy of a return in good light. Yesterday was'nt good light, what a surprise!

Gulls were holding up well in the breeze though over the cliff tops and I was delighted to see these Great Black Backed Gulls in flight.

Gulls I find very difficult particularly though the years to adulthood. Reading the field guide and viewing the photos though I seem to have caught the white wing tips which is diagnostic of the Gt. Black Backed.

Today we have been to Fairburn Ings, nothing out of the ordinary to see, still very nice but we had hoped for the Black Necked Grebe that has been present recently spurning the one at Scaling Dam, Danby as the forecast was for possible rain to the North. Of course no Black Necked Grebe at Fairburn at least for our eyes, I bet the same species was showing gloriously at Danby! And guess what, a Marsh Harrier flew past Lin Dyke Hide at Fairburn when there was only me and Pat there. It's all pot luck really.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Dunlin & Little Gulls

Pictures from Monday at Hornsea Mere.

A lone Dunlin flew down the shore of Hornsea Mere and landed ahead of me enabling a quite approach towards the spot. I could not see the bird just below the cusp of the bank and then it popped it's head up enabling the first shot. I then moved around to the side to get a better sighting. Could have done with better light on a very overcast day. The pictures were tken between showers.

Also pictures of a group of 8 Little Gulls on the end of a jetty by the rowing boats. Another 6 were sat on the next jetty.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

More Dragons

Male Black Darter

Male Common Hawker

Pictures of female Southern Hawker from Hilla Green area today.

Kingfishers were seen several times flashing up and down the river. Also Goldcrest and Goldfinch, Long Tail Tits. Lots of Warblers and small birds in this area. Not surprisingly Sparrowhawk moving aroud the area!

Also pictures of a male Black Darter from yesterday at Harwood Dale on the bank of the new pool.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Emerald Damselfly

Male Emerald Damselfly

Photographed today on the new pool at Harwood Dale, a first for me.

I had no idea from my ID card what they were but a few visits to Dragonfly sites show the pictures as the Emerald Damselfly.

Also present was Black Darters and larger Dragonflies, Southern Hawkers I think but they never settled.

Lots of Peacock butterflies a few Red Admirals, Speckled Wood and Small Skippers.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Ah! Grasshoppers (Apparently)

Seen on our walk in Langdale Forest yesterday along a footpath which seemed to be moving with these little fellows and a few froglets.

Crickets or Grasshoppers I am not sure yet I still need to consult our books but would appreciate any comments.

There was some more species but very small and green, nicely blending with the grass. I think I need a macro lens!

Sunday Afternoon

Golden Ringed Dragonfly


After a horrible Sunday morning we set off out with the weather forcast promising a good afternoon. It was still raining hard, teasing easing up and lashing down again. The forecasters had got it very right though and around mid day it was brightening up. Driving in the Langdale Forest area we stopped for a sandwhich and the sun came out and it was warm.

Over the rough grassed area by the cay Green Veined White butterflies were flying and I saw one Small Copper.

A Nuthatch was spotted in an Oak tree by the stream, photography was difficult in the shadows but occassionallyit moved into a brighter area. A little distant, not the greatest Nutchatch pictures you will see but I like the shots of it hanging upside down and with its beak under the bark.

We then drove to one of the footpaths leading into the forest and within maybe 600yards saw lots of butterflies, crickets, froglets a Roe deer, a Wren and good numbers of ChiffChaffs and best of all a Golden Ringed Dragonfly.

Having photographed Golden Ringed last year on 26 August in Harwood Dale it was great to see another one so close too. Are they different to other species of Dragonfly they seem to land and stay put for a good while!

Butterflies included Peacock, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Large White, Small Skipper, Comma.

Crickets or Grasshoppers were everywhere and I probably manged to photograph up to three species. I will make a seperate posting with a request for help with ID's. For once I did not carry my tripod, photographing the crickets with a heavy telephoto lens was not easy.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Young Kestrel

We had a short walk mid morning yesterday in Wykeham Forest after getting rid of some bird seed and bread at the High Moor Feeding Station.

Not a lot to be seen but is autumn beckoning? A lot of the flowers and plants I would expect to see are dead and black has all the rain caused this? The silver birch tree leaves are turning yellow and were blowing off in the breeze. Where was summer.

Nothing seen other than this young Kestrel high on some telegraph wires, rather distant and in poor ligh but the magic of digital photography can work wonders.

ISO varied from 1600 to 1000 to 800 so Neat Image was employed to remove noise from the pictures in order to get something half decent.

I am desperate to be out in decent sunlight.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Ruddy Darters

Common Darters

Small Copper

A few Dragonflys and Damselflies seen flying around at Top Hill Low yesterday despite quite windy conditions. A number of Darters were flying as well as Southern Hawker around a pond which did not settle.

In the wood these two Ruddy Darters landed fairly close to me. I also saw one or two 'blue' Damselflies.

There was good numbers of butterfly species seen Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Red Admiral, Wall and Small Copper.