Sunday 16 December 2018

Hiding in the Woods.

On Thursday Phil invited me out to try out his new woodland hide. This hide has the benefit of being in a private woodland, so disturbance was at an absolute minimum.
With the sun shining most of the time the lighting was a little testing at times as shadows from trees behind us caused problems some of the time as the sun moved across the sky.
It was certainly interesting though with lots of small birds keeping busy on feeders, and a couple of times it suddenly went very quiet and we assumed a Sparrowhawk was in the vicinity. One of these occasions a Nuthatch was perched up near us and it just sat totally still for a couple of minutes. 

It certainly was a great session and good numbers of Tits were very busy feeding, with the most numerous species being the Coal Tit, with Blue and Great not far behind. Marsh Tit was another species seen several times. With regular visits also from Nuthatch and Great-spotted Woodpecker there were very few dull moments.

Coal Tit.

Coal Tit on Larch.

Marsh Tit on Larch.

Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Nuthatch keeping very still.

Great Tit on Larch.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

2019 Butterfly Season Starts Early!!

Most Winters I try to do some scrub clearance on my patch to slow down the loss of the all important grass downland that is so essential for the insects that I study there.
During a session yesterday, as the sun was really quite warm, I decided to have a quick hunt for Wall Brown larva. As it was a week earlier than I had found them before I wasn't that hopeful. However, the first tussock I searched I found one of these very tiny young larva. At a little under 1 cm it certainly has a lot of growing before it becomes a butterfly next April. I carried on searching a little more but only found one more.

A tiny Wall Brown larva on my middle finger.

Wall Brown larva (just under 1 cm long).

With various commitments as well as some very poor weather lately, I haven't managed to get out much with the camera. On one much better, sunny day I did go over to Dungeness with David. Unfortunately it turned out to be the worst day we have had over that way for birds with only a hovering Kestrel and a Great White Egret photographed, and not much else seen either!!


Great White Egret. 

Great White Egret in flight.

The valley near my home has seen huge numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare this Winter and several of my walks have been made much better by watching them. The only one I managed to photograph was on a very dull day, so very little sparkle. On the one decent day that I set up a hide near a bush full of berries, most of the birds had moved on during the previous clear night!!

Fieldfare in the gloom.