Sunday, 8 June 2014

8th June - Things Are Not Quite What They Seem

The moth trap was a little more productive overnight, allowing me the chance to continue the white background photographs.  It was nice to find another, or the same Privet Hawkmoth, which does look impressive.

The Peppered Moth too is enhanced with the white background

Then there were two new ones for the year, this Orange Spot.

And a Heart and Dagger.

It was a beautiful morning, and we decided to walk around Plain Farm, the one location I hadn't visited yesterday, plenty of grass and meadow, so hopefully some more insects.  

As we left the car the cows in the field turned away from us, and headed off towards the road.  We thought at first it was due to an approaching tractor, but the the truth was the cows wanted to offer some assistance to two cyclists who were mending a puncture. 

Apologies now for the next two images, in photographing the moths I over exposed for the white background, but then forgot to change it back.  I have played with them in photoshop, but they are not to my standard.

As we walked up the hill I could hear Firecrests calling, but couldn't see them.  Another confirmed breeding.  In front of us was a brown lump, that turned out to be a Hare.

I approached as close as I could, but it awoke from its dreams, and sped off around the field.

We checked the pond where Azure Damsels were matin
g on the top of the duckweed, but that was all.  We headed down the path where the grass was growing quite high.  There were a few bees and bugs, but no butterflies, is today going to be like yesterday?

At the quarry Blackbirds were calling in alarm, but we could find the reason for their concern.  Crossing the road we could hear the calls of baby Blue Tits, and we found one on the fence calling for food and comfort.

Young birds were everywhere, as well as the Blue Tits there were also a group of Great Tits in the hedge.

At the farm house a female Brimstone was perched at the top of the holly tree.  I used the chimney in the background to help provide some good light having realised my exposure problem.

The Swallows were chattering away above us, and one settled on the wires showing off it's beautiful tail feathers.

One of the grain sheds was open, and Helen pointed out a dead rat in front of it, then found these two Grey Partridges sitting behind it amongst some of the old grain.  I am not sure what they were doing but they looked quite settled.

We walked on up the hill and along the lane.  The Kestrel flew ahead of us, swooping low over the grass, hovering every so often, and then buzzing the tops of the trees, probably in the hope of disturbing a small bird.

House Sparrows chirped everywhere, Linnets were on the wires and at least two Whitethroats sang from the hedge.

This male Chaffinch has a beak full of insects but still managed to call.  Quite a collection here.

We walked along the footpath with a Willow Warbler singing from the thick bushes.  I had heard one here earlier in the season so maybe this is one of a breeding pair.  Looking back along the path it was a lovely summer's day.

Two Chiffchaffs sang at the old tree stump.  One with a traditional call, and the other with what seemed to be a rather backward tune.

We crossed the field towards Charlwood Lane in the hope of butterflies.  I did disturb what I think may have been a skipper but we couldn't relocate it.

Walking along Charlwood Lane I noticed a large bird ahead with an unmistakeable tail, a Red Kite, the first I have managed to photograph for quite awhile.

As I watched the Kite I noticed another smaller raptor zipping past.  This was a Sparrowhawk.  The photograph here is not special, but at the top I found a Swift when I downloaded it, the first for the year.

With the Buzzards that appeared to be everywhere we had now seen four raptor species in the day, and during the afternoon at home two more Sparrowhawks flew over the house, a male and female, and the female calling something I haven't heard that much.

We carried on walking along the lane, then turned into Lye Way to head back to the cars.  There were plenty of Swallows around the houses and stables, and Goldfinches tinkled above us as they flew around the trees and hedges.

Another moth caught my eye, and fortunately it settled in the hedge.  This is a Brown Silver-line, another confirmed day flying moth.

A quiet morning but a pleasant walk, I thought though there would be more butterflies about, but it seems we are between fling times for certain species.  Lets hope the warm weather continues and then hopefully we can find some.  However the moth trap continues to deliver some beauties.

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