Saturday 28 November 2015

Purple Pier.

With no photographs taken for over 3 weeks I was very keen to try to get out for a while and maybe even pressing that shutter release. With heavy rain expected around lunchtime I headed to Tide Mills and the East Pier hoping for my yearly close encounter with Purple Sandpipers. They are great little characters and can be quite approachable at times. I could see there were 4 or 5 sitting on the top of the pier when I arrived and with a steady approach I was soon photographing them at close range. It was extremely windy on the pier and I was lucky not to lose the hat!! I could see there was also a few Turnstone at the far end of the pier near the fishermen but with heavy clouds building I headed back to the beach. Along here there was a large flock of Ringed Plover with some Turnstone and Dunlin mixed in. Unfortunately these would not allow a close approach so a flight shot was all I could manage. It was then a dash back to the car as the heavy rain arrived.

A bit of aerobics!!

Purple Sandpiper.

Purple Sandpiper.

Purple Sandpiper.

Ringed Plovers being led by a Dunlin.

Thursday 19 November 2015

A Pearl of a Day.

With the weather continuing to be pretty dreadful for photography I thought I would look back on a few of my better days from 2015. I don't think any came up as good as May 15th with a small hunt with Pete in Abbotts Wood looking for Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and then onto the River Cuckmere for the fabulous Banded Demoiselle. Although a few of the following images have already been posted I have included a few that missed out last time. The last photo of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary is as far as I am concerned my most pleasing shot of the year!!
The weather on this particular day was almost perfect for photography with it being quite cool and a little overcast which meant the insects were not too active. The only problem was finding them in the first instant. This female Fritillary was in fact the only one found, fortunately she was extremely fresh and the light improved enough for her to open her wings on and off.. At the river several male Banded Demoiselles were found along with several other great insects.

Female Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

The string of pearls showing around the hind-wing.

Posing nicely on a Bluebell.

My personal favourite photo of the year.

Male Banded Demoiselle.

Showing the delicate looking wings.

Fully grown Drinker larvae in defensive pose.

Large Red Damselfly.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Another November Surprise.

The mild weather is resulting in several surprising sightings this November. Today I met up with Nigel for a stroll over Pevensey Levels where we saw a couple of Red Admirals once the rain had stopped. However, we were certainly not expecting to see any Fen Raft Spiders this late in the season. Looking at an area where some had been seen earlier in the year I was scanning the water foliage with the binoculars when I spotted a young spider. Although it was out in the middle of the ditch I could get a reasonable shot of it with the telephoto lens. It looked really smart amongst all the droplets from the earlier rain.

Juvenile Fen Raft Spider.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

A November Osprey.

With a really sunny day I decided to head to Southease hoping to see the juvenile Osprey that has been in the area for well over a week. On arrival I found that it had been seen just a few minutes before I arrived, typical!! However, it wasn't long before I picked it up flying back towards the bridge. On flying over the bridge it was actually too large for the telephoto lens I had attached. It then headed up river towards Lewes. Several sightings then followed including another close view where I managed a few images. Unfortunately I still need a bit of practice with using the lens with flying birds, although it would have helped if I had remembered to change the ISO setting from my usual macro settings. Better luck next time!!
Along the river bank there were many sightings of Red Admiral as well as single Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.

Osprey being mobbed by a Crow.

Osprey at Southease.

On Sunday, as well as the Long-tailed Blue sighting I also found a Ruby Tiger larvae in the undergrowth.

Ruby Tiger larvae.

Sunday 1 November 2015

November Blues Wrap Up The Season. (Probably)!!

With it being November James tried to tempt me over to Brighton for one final hunt for the Long-tailed Blue. Long-tailed Blue have never been seen in Sussex in November before. With it being such a warm sunny day, once the fog had lifted, there was a really good chance of success as a female had been sighted just yesterday at the site. After searching for some time in the long wet grass a call from Mark came in saying he had found one at the other end of the site. We were soon admiring a fresh male. A few people had come from long distance so we made sure everyone had a view of the butterfly. It was not possible of course to get quality pictures with so many people there so I've attached a photo from last Sunday. Sometime later a call came up that another male had been found. This one was sat on the main path where it stayed for sometime before moving along the path settling every now and then. Later it was established that this was actually the same butterfly after close examination of photographs taken. If the mild weather keeps going there will I'm sure be more sightings. However, with 10 seen this year I am happy with what I've seen of the Long-tailed this year. I'm not saying I will not look any further but I'm not going out my way for them now. It really has extended the butterfly year!!

Male Long-tailed Blue.

Nigel has now at last started his own blog 'East Sussex Wanderer' that you can link onto via the blogs that I follow. Please take time to check this out and see some great images, especially his Fen Raft Spider sightings.