Friday, 30 June 2017

That confirms it...my garden is in Essex!!

Had two Essex Skipper Butterflies in my garden this afternoon feeding on Lavender plants.

A small butterfly with a darting flight, widespread in England and Wales. Bright orange-brown wings held with forewings angled above hind wings. Males have thin black line through centre of forewing, parallel to leading edge. Small Skipper is similar but lacks black tips to antenna (best viewed head on) and has longer scent brand, angled to edge of forewing.

Essex Skipper butterflies closely resemble and are often found in company with Small Skippers. Because of the similarities, the Essex Skipper has been overlooked both in terms of recording and ecological study, and it was the last British resident species to be described (in 1889).

The distribution of the Essex Skipper in Britain has more than doubled in the last few decades. Find out more on Butterfly Conservation's website.









Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Gruffalo

I was working today at Horsenden Hill in Ealing and just had to spend 20 minutes exploring the gruffly trail!









Monday, 5 June 2017

Thursley Common

I spent most of last Friday at Thursley Nature Reserve which is one of the largest remaining fragments of a once more extensive area of heathland in Surrey. Covering an area of 325 ha Thursley NNR holds extensive areas of open dry heathland, peat bogs, pine and deciduous woodlands.

This was my very first visit and to say I was impressed is an understatement and I will return again soon.

pretty much the first birds I saw were a pair of Stonechats this is the male, there were a number of pairs across the site
and the next birds seen were Dartford Warblers I saw at least five birds during the day, all viewed distantly from the footpaths, this is a heavily cropped image.
this is the bird I was hoping to see, a very confiding male Cuckoo and he didn't disappoint.

this could have been a great image, if I had managed to get the whole bird in the frame!

a familiar Cuckoo pose
this male Redstart also showed well

Mistle Thrush one of two and they always kept their distance!

Woodlark undoubtedly my best ever views of this species and well chuffed to see them so close!

Woodlark
Four-spotted Chaser there were a few of these around the ponds

a number of Common Lizards were using the Boardwalks to hunt and bask, including this fine male, if only I had got it all in focus!

and a Water Lily to end a fantastic day!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Rainham - early morning at the west end!

Just after 5am, low lying fog hides the ground but soon clears. Bird song is everywhere with the three main songsters being Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and Cetti's Warbler and there were lots of each species! Add to this the odd Wren, Dunnock Blackbird and Song Thrush, a distant Cuckoo and a few noisy parakeets flying through plus regular calls of Pheasant there are worse places to be!
Sedge Warbler

another Sedge Warbler

and another!

Hairy Shieldbug

young Dunnock