Monday 26 October 2009

Continental visitor arrives at Venus Pools.

With the arrival back in the twenties in the south of the country, the Wasp spider has, over the intervening years firmly established a good and expanding colonisation of the more southerly areas. The expansion of its range was last reported to have reached Gloucestershire, however that has changed
 considerably over the years, and now, a discovery of a colony having settled in at Venus Pools.

The above female is guarding her nest amongst the grass stems, which are very difficult to find.
They are one of the spiny spiders which do bite! although not poisonous some may have a reaction so best to leave them well alone. The markings on this spider are spectacular to say the least and as with all spiders will consume the male after mating, however the male will wait until she sheds her skin and go in for the mating, as at this time her fangs are still soft, mind you they dont always get it right.

The web is similer to the well know orb but has a zigzag called the stabilimentum through the centre, this is thought to add stability to the web and make it visible to possibly birds to stop them flying through the web.
What a fantastic Spider to have on the reserve.
Another well good species I have come across recently is the Plumed Tussock moth caterpillar

Another brilliant and wierd catapillar that fits in with many of the amazing caterillars in the UK
the moth however is unassuming a small brown moth quite often found in houses after following bright lights that  have been on during their flight time.
Ok so what else did I come acrosss today? well after the rain and the slightly warmer temperatures was the chance of some more fungi appearing around the reserve? there were a few but it still looks a bit dry for some of the more delicate porcelain types, however I did find several as can be seen from the following, and I am sure more will be found around the county woods in the next week.

So nothing spectacular in these, but they are there for anyone to find, and I would be interested in reports of fungi from around the county, please use the yahoo group facility.
There you go another little update on what has been going on and hopefully another soon.
thanks for looking come again.

Thursday 22 October 2009

Just a little catch up!

He was well pissed of.

Getting up early is a real pain when it is cold and raining, but it has it's benefits, especially when the Red Deer Stags are giving it a bit of what for. The dull lighting and low temperature really gives some atmosphere to the shots that present themselves, a high ISO of 1600 and fill in flash at -2ev contributes to the feeling.

Mind you, could really have done without the darned rain. But again it all adds to the feel of the moment.
And of course they do look a little more intimidating in the wet, with the mud from a recent wallow adding texture to thier coats.

Somehow this  Pricket, on the left only just managed to avoid a good pasting at the hands of the three or four year old stag. Which had took umbridge, that the Pricket had ventured to close to the females and got sent on his way in no uncertain terms. The fact that he crapped himself  might point to the fear shown, think I might have as well!!

And finally to round of this catch up, could anyone, other than a Mother Coot love a little mongrel such as this?? doe's not quite come into the cute brackets doe's it?

There will be another update as soon as I can get it done, but with so many in the back log it might be a little while. I hope you enjoyed your visit and don't forget you can comment on any of the articles in the blog.


Wednesday 7 October 2009

Bout bloody time to!

Butiful init? and one of the British Owls that for some reason had eluded all my attempts at getting it into the computor, but this year it all changed thankfully. A very late fledging group was hanging around the area and performing very well, for Owls that is. So take a look some well cool shots for the blog, even if I do say so myself. and there are more to come of their antics.
The chance of siblings suddenly appearing on the same perch was not even remotely in my mind, so when they did the the shutter finger went into overdrive and the flash seemed to be on permanently, then finally the batteries started to give in. and it was time to leave as they moved of. A pleasant evening was had slightly!!!
full size images of all pictures on the blog and website are for sale. see ya!

In the Doldrums? Hhmm! mey be not.

With the start of October one of the greatest spectacles to take place in the Autumn is the Red Deer Rut,
and with a marvellous setting not to far from telford I took Dawn for her first sighting of this amazing sight.
So it was up at 04:30 to be on site for first light and the continueing drizzle that was moveing across the county. At least seven stags were roaring from all over the place, the Fallow on the other hand were really not doing much at all at this stage but that was to change, as was the weather, it got worse. But being prepared ensured everything stayed dry and functional.

Sometimes they were close enough to reach out and touch.

An early morning encounter

The performance was very good but so far only one half hearted effort at ousting the top stag and claiming his hareem.

Another update is completed, the next will be tomorrow or tonight if I can stay awake!
Enjoy and please come back often.