Monday, 16 July 2012

Orange and Yellow and Brown and _ _ _

We went to Messingham Sand Quarry LWT yesterday for once a glorious day, and whilst the skies blackened over for an hour it passed over and must have rained elsewhere.

Loads of Common Blue damselflies, butterflies doing what they do, flying! The only one I photographed was this Meadow Brown which I quite like on the yellow flowers. I did see a pair of Ringlets mating but too dark to photo.

There were lots of the caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth. Caterpillars are most evident when ragwort is in full flower. The caterpillar stage lasts about 1 month during which time it undergoes 5 moults.

When fully fed the caterpillars crawl away from the plants to pupate in a dry sheltered spot such as among the debris at the base of the plants or into crevices under logs, stones and lumps of earth.

The pupal stage is prolonged lasting about 9 months, and the moths do not emerge again until the following spring.

High losses can occur in winter if pupation sites are waterlogged, as pupae cannot stand prolonged immersion in water, although they can survive considerable desiccation.

The foilage is being eaten voraciously!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Beautiful Demoiselle

I was rather surprised and delighted to see this damselfly locally at the week-end, flying low over a ditch.

The pictures were taken at the long end of my telescopic lens, not great but I wanted to post to show the beauty of these damselfly's. It's in the name!


Wings open


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Corn Bunting

On Sunday we went to Buckton Cliffs to see the Alpine Swift flying above the trig point a great bird to see. The walk from Bemprton RSPB was a little further than anticipated but about two thirds of the way I head the 'jangling keys' sound of a Corn Bunting and fortunately it was on a concrete fence post and allowed me to approach although I was shooting into the light.

The Corn Bunting has Red Status due to its dramatic population decline. It is our largest bunting a dull brown bird, paler underneath and streaky it is usually seen prominently on a fence post or wire strand singing its song. It nests in a large loose construction of coarse grasses, often in a scrape on the ground where it has 3 - 5 eggs. It eats seeds and invertebrates.

We briefly watched the very prominent Alpine Swift, never getting to the trig point as there was no need with it flying overhead, we beat a hasty retreat as the black clouds rolled in once more and made it back with only a few spots of rain falling on us.

Record shot of Alpine Swift

The gathering on trig point Buckton Cliffs

The gathering clouds above trig point!