Monday, 27 June 2016

Taking the plunge!

Well I've done it, I've changed from my DSLR camera with it's array of lenses from macro to 400mm to a bridge camera! I can hear the gasps of breath, but, for me carrying all my photographic equipment and a telescope & binoculars was beginning to give me back problems, and lugging it all around was after an hour or so, becoming a chore and not at all enjoyable. I am a birder who likes to take photographs, and as such, I don't like to go out without my scope. So I'm hoping I have found a compromise. I looked at a few bridge cameras and to purchase a Canon SX60 HS. Time will tell if it was the right move, but at least my back will thank me!

A few images below taken with the SX60, not great but I am still getting a feel for it and playing about with the settings. I was however quite pleased with the macro images!

Dog walk this morning around Central Park, quite a dull morning and for late June quite a chilly one too! The only birds around were Carrion Crows, and they were mostly distant!

Carrion Crow I think he has spotted something! (ISO 500, 247mm, f6.5, 1/320sec)


Carrion Crows, an idea as to the zoom capabilities (65x) these three are in the nearer group in the image below (ISO 500, 247mm, f6.5, 1/200sec)

The image above is three of the closest black specks! (ISO 500, 3.8mm, f5, 1/500sec)

I'm pleased with the images below taken in my garden on Saturday morning in the sunshine.
Large Skipper (ISO 200, 38.904mm, f5.6, 1/250sec)

Brassica Sheildbugs (ISO 200, 36.824mm, f5.6, 1/250sec)

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Garden Wildlife

Some sunshine early morning today and a pair of Large Skippers appeared in my London/Essex garden, the first I have seen this year! Also two Brassica Shieldbugs copulating!

And this nest of spiderlings which I assume are Nursery-web Spiders as I saw a female a few days ago carrying a nest ball in the same area.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

RSPB Rye Meads

A pleasant walk around the reserve at Rye Meads today, after the recent unsettled weather it was good to feel the sun on my back. I met with members of RSPB Havering Local Group for our last meeting of this season's calendar.

View from the Draper Hide
 We started in the Draper Hide where amongst the many wildfowl the drake Garganey was soon found asleep on one of the islands. It soon stirred it's self and had a swim and a fly around, but always remained on the far side of the scrape. Also seen here were a few Stock Doves, Common Terns and a single Green Sandpiper.
drake Garganey with Shoveler in the foreground
 From the Gadwall Hide were more terns and a female Pochard with six ducklings and many black-headed Gulls most with quite large juveniles. A pair of Little Grebes were also seen.
Looking out from the Gadwall Hide
 We spotted around ten Holly Blue butterflies along with single Orange-tip and Brimstone.
Holly Blue

View from Tern Hide

Nursery-web Spider with egg sac

Helophilus pendulus Common Tiger Hoverfly

young Coots from the Kingfisher Hide but no sign of the Kingfishers, they were seen soon after we left the hide!

Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens

Banded Demoiselle

On our way back to the Visitor Centre

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Diamond Geezer!

After yesterday afternoon's thunderstorm I counted at least forty Diamond-back moths Plutella xylostella. They were flying up from our lawn at each step I took, these are the first I have recorded in my Essex/London garden.

Diamond-backs are a tiny brown moth, about 7mm in length, normally best identified by the pale diamond pattern on its back. However, the colour is variable ranging from dark brown to pale and on some specimens the diamond back pattern is almost indeterminable from the overall wing colour.

In the British Isles it is one of the commonest migrant moths with annual influxes often in the millions. This year could see one of the largest arrivals for many years, with thousands being recorded along the east coast of England.

In many parts of the world they are also referred to as Cabbage Moths due to the damage they can cause to cabbages and other crucifers by their caterpillars.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Garden Bugs

At last a sunny day coincides with a day off, spot of gardening and taking a few images.

7-spot Ladybird

Mangora acalypha

Heliophanus flavipes - 2 small spiders with attitude

Heliophanus flavipes

Garden Spider

Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Rosemary Beetle

Rosemary Beetle

Philodromus albidus

14-spot Ladybird