Friday 7 October 2016

Cricket to Ouzel.

There is now a very definite autumnal feel to the weather and with the insect life also winding down over the last few days it is only a matter of time before the macro lens is put away until the spring. Of course there will still be a few insects about and yesterday whilst doing a bit of Cantoneaster clearing I saw a very fresh Common Blue as well as a Clouded Yellow. A recent trip to Rye Harbour NR with Nigel looking for dragonflies we found a few Long-winged Conehead crickets along with a few spiders, including a late Wasp Spider.

Female Long-winged Conehead.

This was followed a few days later by a hunt for Hawkmoth larva in Friston Forest. Although we failed to find any Hawkmoth larva we did both find a Pale Tussock larva on Sallow. The light was very poor deep in the tree foliage but it was good to see one of these, my first for many years.

Pale Tussock larva.

A female Speckled Wood also put in an appearance along the woodland ride.

Female Speckled Wood.

In the garden over the last few days a Hummingbird Hawkmoth has put in the odd appearance, this has for me been a very poor year for this stunning migrant moth with only 6 sightings all year. Another migrant insect, the Painted Lady has also been in the garden nectaring on the Buddleia. Whilst mowing the grass I saw the butterfly land in the Clematis where I managed a photo of the under-side.

Painted Lady.

For a few days each Autumn Ring Ouzels can be seen locally as they make their way back south on their migration. I've only seen them a few times in the past but today I was up before dawn hoping to see some. It was not at all easy to start with and I was beginning to think I would be out of luck when after a good walk round I saw a fabulously marked male nearby. It was really dull this morning but the white chest really showed up well. A little after this the birds became more active both in flight and calling and it was soon clear there were good numbers in the bushes. At one time I could see 7 with more deeper in the bush. Difficult to say how many there were in total but it was well into double figures. I more than doubled today my Ring Ouzel life sightings!! The other great bird sighting was a Woodcock which nearly flew into me and Bob Self who was chatting to me. It landed just 20 feet away and slowly wandered off into the undergrowth!!
Just after this my only chance of a photo today of the Ring Ouzel. All the birds were quite wary but one landed a little nearer and although the light was still very poor a photo was achieved, and you can just about see what it is!!

Male Ring Ouzel.


  1. Hi. True amazing photos. Ring Ouzel is very rare in Finland. The two times I have happily seen the bird.

  2. Wasps and very hardy common carder bees seem to be the only insects about here at the moment