Sunday 25 July 2010

Crouching tiger, soaking backside!

At a bit of a loss the other day, I decided to just go for a walk, no bins, big lenses just my Compact. Why on earth would I want to do that? Really, I suppose, to sort of feel free!! and to see just what I could get with just the Compact with a closeup facility! and image stabilisation. The chance find of a group of Budlia on some scrubby ground gave me the first chance or chances as it turned out.

A Peacock Butterfly
  A Red Admiral
A  Comma
In the hedgerow adjacent I found these.
A Gatekeeper
                                                                             An odd fly?

Ptychoptera contaminata  a member of the Cranefly family.
Six-spotted Burnett Moth.

A Common Blue

A Hoverfly Scavae pyrastiri.

Another Common Blue

And just around the corner a small run off pond near the road.

Got me a Ruddy Darter.

And the scandel of the day!!! hah! in your dreams peewee!!!

So i was pleasantly surprised at just what was achieved with just a pocket point and shoot camera, the closeup function coupled with the IS (image stabilisation) produced some nice results. So why don't you give this a try for yourself, it does require some patience and strange crouching walking and pehaps a wet foot or too, but well rewarding.
Cheers Paul. 

Saturday 10 July 2010

That Welsh place again!

A quick stop at the Kite feeding place near Aberystwyth, produced some nice results.
 Nothing out of the ordinary but very nice all the same.

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker

Male Siskin

And again

Oi! Big nose!!! Greenfinch seem to have had a successful season.

Cheers Paul

Fratercola arctica, Puffin. specially up the stairs!

A planned trip to South Wales, in particular the Pembrokeshire coastline, was certainly going to be interesting. My last visit to this rugged and stunning coastline was in 1978 or there abouts. The plan was arrive Friday set camp and explore the area, gaining correct information on the ferry! and of course prices.
With Gannets and Chough  around the Martin Haven bay, Swallows in and out of the Toilet block feeding young it was to be a fine trip.
The sea state was calm with a good Southwesterly, Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Gannet, Northern Fulmer and Kittiwakes were all on the sea and around the boat at times, even a nice small pod of Harbour Porpoise. With the boat carrying 50 people (bit like Sardines) the camera had to stay protected against the salt spray.
Arrival and unloading was at low tide so the number of steep stairs were more than expected! But with a large raft of Birds very near the landing point and getting closer the climb was put of for a while.

Herring Gull with Stolen nest material

Resting above the waterline

Having a Kip

Razorbill fly by

The walk over the Island was a keeping the eyes open for Little & Short-ear Owls which are doing well here. The cliff tops are literally covered in Burrows of either Puffin or Shearwater, which gather in very large numbers at dusk ready to move into their nesting burrows under the cover of darkness. The vantage points were humorous as the Puffins, arriving, beaks full of eels. With the on shore wind they were able to out-manoeuvre the Gulls and drop right into their burrows, a few would even land in front of the onlookers and walk through the feet to the burrows on the other side of the path. The cliffs were covered in Kittiwakes, Fulmer, Razorbill, Guillemots and the scavenging gulls.
The corpses of Shearwaters, that had not left before daylight lay every where you walked. proving the value of getting up and out early!


Damn tourists!

Not what you would call a shout!

Breakfast delivery

To include some of the larger stuff.

Chough on the cliffs were screaming for Mum.

Juvvy following the pack.

Needling for tasty morsels.

The trip to Skomer is well worth the £17 cost however you only get 5 hours on the Island, but for £25 per night there is self catering accommodation available, right bugger getting all your kit there to say the least. They do have a tractor to take the heavier things to the building, travelling light could be the order of the day!!

A definite return is in order for this lovely Island to include Grassholme and the Shearwater rafts.


Thursday 1 July 2010


With the temperatures reaching into the Phew! it was a relatively quite time around the area, a few seeds dropped at Acton Burnel only bagged a Nuthatch and Blackbird. So it was a last minute, or last ditch effort trip to Berrington for some hoped for Dragons! The temperature was up,  and boy! were they super active, Black Tailed Skimmers, Broad Bodied Chasers, Brown Hawkers, Migrant Hawkers, Ruddy Darters, a Gompher or two and the odd Emperor thrown in for good measure. On the Damsel fly side it was easier to get at them as they moved amongst the grass mating and fighting. Species found were in the norm, Common Blue, Blue tailed, Small Red, Large Red and a load of Teneral females had emerged that day, and were not long free flying without a Clasper! latching on as soon as they were visible.
Searching for the seeds, there was another with the odd blue throat colour (Juvenile).

Not a lot left after this visitor.

Be gentle with me!

Common Blue

Female Common Blue
Passing the goodies, with a Teneral Blue Tailed Damselfly (the pink one).

White -faced Darters and Golden-ringed Dragon fly are on the list for July..