Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Pectoral sandpiper...

A tweet this afternoon alerted everyone that James McCarthy had found a pec sand on Black Hole Marsh at Seaton and half an hour later I was on my way to take a look for it. It was quite distant but I managed to obtain a little grainy footage of it as it moved between the small islands:

Pec sand, Black Hole Marsh: R. Harris
Pec sand, Black Hole Marsh: R. Harris
Juv Med gull: R. Harris
It vanished later in the evening after a sparrowhawk swooped across BHM and was not seen again during the evening. Hopefully it hasn't gone far and will stay around for a few days. Others birds of note were 3 meds and a YL Gull.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Here's a strange one....

Can't recall the last time I saw one of these locally in July - found by Dave Helliar last Friday:

Goosander, juvenile, nr Chard: R. Harris
and a bit of video

A few commoner things...

Summer is still here, just. So here are a few pics of commoner things to be found locally around Chard:

Green-veined White: A. Grinter
Green-veined whites: A. Grinter
The ubiquitous Himalayan Balsam: A. Grinter
Spotted flycatcher: A. Grinter
Spot fly: A. Grinter

Comma: R. Harris
Early thorn: R. Harris
Peacock: R. Harris
True Lover's Knot: R. Harris
Amaurobius similis: R. Harris
Large skipper: R. Harris

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Long-tailed blue

Well, this was a surprise today! Just after lunch there was a tweet from Ivan Lakin to say he had a long-tailed blue in his kitchen in Dawlish. Wow, I thought - lucky guy, imagine finding one of those. Then another tweet from Ivan inviting people to go and see it, so I did...I was looking after my son, so Jacob had to come too. It was sitting quietly in a jam jar on his kitchen table been admired by half a dozen other people when we got there. The lighting in the kitchen didn't lend itself to photography but here's my best effort with the ISO cranked up to 3200 and the macro lens shut down to f3.2, through glass - and the result's not good...

Long-tailed blue: R. Harris
Long-tailed blue: R. Harris
Huge thanks to Ivan for allowing everyone to come into his home to see it (the second he's found!!) and an extra big thanks to Jacob for his patience...though it did cost me an extra £30 in ToysRUs at Exeter on the way home...bless.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Rarity at the res...

But only at the res, nowhere else...yes, this morning I woke really early and decided a visit to Chard res was in order in the hope of securing some footage of the kingfishers but they were not to be seen. Instead a juvenile redshank had dropped in overnight and had managed to find the only bit of muddy shoreline available to feed on and when it was getting harassed by coots, it took refuge on the sticks. Too far away to ever get good photos but I took a bit of video - click the image to view:

Click to see it move! (opens in a new window)

There are usually one or two annually but not always so. It still remains an accidental visitor at the res.

Monday, 22 July 2013

West Cornwall...

A popular place this year and there's no doubting why. Cornwall has a particular draw for me as I can trace my family tree back to 1600's Cornwall, but that's another story...many thanks to Dave Helliar for supplying the following images taken on a recent holiday in St Just.

Painted Lady: D. Helliar
Always a good sight - the Scillonian
Silver Studded Blue: D. Helliar
Cteniopus sulphureus: D. Helliar
Agrion virgo (female): D. Helliar
Agrion virgo (male): D. Helliar
Rose Chafer: D. Helliar
Cordulegaster boltonii (male): D. Helliar
Cornish sunset...wish I was there...
Roll on my own hols...

Friday, 19 July 2013

Black Hole Marsh

I took advantage of the continuing hot weather and nipped off to Black Hole Marsh at Seaton late morning to see if the little ringed plover was still there. It was and it was quite obliging too...

Thursday, 18 July 2013

And today's forcast is HOT!

As the warm spell of weather continues, so the insects seem to be catching up and, in many cases, are now having a bumper year! Thanks to Andy Grinter for the following photos taken around Newton Poppleford in Devon and Pilsdon in Dorset last weekend:

Comma: A. Grinter
Peacock caterpillar: A. Grinter
White-legged damselfly: A. Grinter
Green-veined White: A. Grinter
Meadow pipit: A. Grinter
Gatekeeper, male: A. Grinter
Meadow Brown: A. Grinter
Meanwhile, I spent the weekend at Legoland theme park in Windsor with my family. My little boy's been asking to go there for ages and it has to be booked so far in advance, so this was the weekend. It was great fun and nice to spend some time with my wife and boy and I hadn't been in the park more than 10 minutes when this beauty came drifting overhead...

Red kite, Legoland: R. Harris
Red kite: R. Harris

Not too bad considering I only had my 100mm kit lens with me.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Spot flys

They use to be a lot more common than they are today, spotted flycatchers. I use to have one nesting between the house and a drainpipe in Forton Road and every year my brother and I would count the eggs from the bathroom window and then watch as they hatched and fledged. When Andy Grinter alerted me to a nesting pair on the outskirts of Chard near Wambrook, I went along to take a look...

Spotted flycatcher: Andy Grinter
Spotted flycatcher: Andy Grinter
...and managed to grab a bit of footage...

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Little Owls...

I use to be fanatical about owls when I was a teenager and I still love seeing them, so when I had the opportunity to go and film a family of little owls near Hambridge yesterday evening, I jumped at the chance...

Did you spot the two youngsters sitting under the tractor wheel-arch?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Another new spider for the garden...

Pseudeuophrys lanigera is its name - big name for a little jumping spider. Not unlike Salticus scenicus (always think that sounds like a Roman senator) in behaviour it can be found on external walls literally jumping around looking for very small insects (such as greenfly) - great little character. I love the way these spiders actually twist their heads up to look at you as you approach, they are so aware:

P. lanigera: R. Harris
P. lanigera
P. lanigera

This takes the species list in my house to thirteen so far.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

It's a strange mix of Summer and Autumn at the moment. Plenty of late emerging insects on the wing but also the first signs of passage wader movements, can summer really be over yet?

Green sandpipers: Dave Helliar
Emperor Dragonfly: Dave Helliar
Black-tailed skimmer (female): Dave Helliar
Black-tailed skimmer (male): R. Harris
Ringlet: Dave Helliar
Common green grasshopper (and below): R. Harris

Meadow Grasshopper: R. Harris
immature speckled bush cricket: R. Harris
Five-spot Burnet: R. Harris
Grey Dagger, trying to blend into
the wall of my house: R. Harris