Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Early Thorn

Not trapping on these cold nights but some moths are out early in the night before the temperature drops too much. This female Early Thorn was at our kitchen window last night and is there again tonight. This shot taken by the light of a head torch.

Early Thorn Selenia dentaria, female

Canon Powershot A640

Monday, March 26, 2012

Whooper Swan Moon

Spent a bit of time tonight looking at the stars, planets and moon. Fabulously clear conditions and a big surprise to hear the distinctive three note trumpet of a Whooper Swan making its way north along the river valley in the darkness. A first for the garden. There were also geese and what sounded like Teal calling distantly from the river and some very noisy Wood Mice in the garden fences.

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x32

Tagged Red Kite

At least 5 kites active over the garden today. Two were tagged, one hatched locally last year and this one with blue on the right wing indicating it was raised the year before.

Red Kite Milvus milvus

Canon EOS500D 70-300mm IS USM

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Orange Underwing in garden

Great day in the garden once the sun came out midday. Tons of insects including this incredible Orange Underwing moth. Tied to birch, it's a dayflying species I've only ever seen at good birch woodland around here. The four birches in front of the house must be just enough.

Also 7 Bee Flies, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and loads of bees. Wood Mice, Bank Voles, Frogs, Siskin, Red Kites, etc.

Orange Underwing Archiearis parthenias

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x32

Green Shield Bug Palomena prasina

Canon Powershot A640

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Great Grey Shrike

Well there's a chance this bird has been here all winter as it was report late last autumn. However it was two days ago that it was first seen this year and has showed well since. I first saw it yesterday fairly distantly but it was a bit closer today.

Gave a great performance catching bees and butterflies (Peacock) and nearly getting a Reed Bunting on one occasion. The star turn though was a 40 second hover over the field shown in this video.

Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x32

Courting Nuthatches

Ok, not brilliant photos but this is something you don't see that often let alone photograph. The amount of Nuthatch and woodpecker (all three species) activity this morning at Old Sulehay was impressive.

Nuthatches Sitta europaea

Canon EOS 500D 70-300mm IS USM

Monday, March 19, 2012

Juniper Shieldbug

I think this is a first for me. This shieldbug appeared at my office window today. They use garden cyprusses as well as juniper and as a result have spread a great deal. This is an adult that has overwintered and is now hoping to breed.

Juniper Shieldbug Cyphostethus tristriatus

Canon Powershot A640

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nene Washes

A great lunchtime on the Nene Washes. My best views of a Merlin for a long time. Watched one leave a post and chase a Snipe for some time. It easily gained on the Snipe, missed a couple of times then brought it down. However it then emerged without the Snipe and I wonder if it was robbed by this female Sparrowhawk that landed in front of me soon afterwards. It has a prey item of about the right size and colour but it's difficult to be sure what species.

Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, female with prey

Stock Dove Columba oenas

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x32

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Clouded Drab

A few moths turning up at the garden actinic trap over the past few nights in cool but calm conditions. Small and Common Quakers, Hebrew Characters and a Double-striped Pug but the most numerous have been Clouded Drabs. This example is an unusually well-marked, pale form for here, with most being the dark reddish types.

Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta

Canon Powershot A640

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Glossy Ibises

Found yesterday by Jonny Taylor on the Nene Washes and present again today. Nice!

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x32

Blast from the past

I was reminded of this bird seen on one of the first ever Natural Stone trips by a post to Katie Fuller's timeline on Facebook. This was at some manky looking pools in SanlĂșcar de Barrameda south of Seville in Andalucia, Spain on 21st May 2005. This reworked version of one of the photos is very pleasing and a reminder of how good the 3MP Nikon Coolpix 995 really was. It ain't all about pixel count ya know!

Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus

Digiscoped with Nikon Coolpix 995 and Leica APO77 x20

Monday, March 12, 2012

Snow Buntings - Digiscoped

I was quite pleased with the last set of shots from the DSLR but just got around to checking these digiscoped shots and, if anything, I prefer them. The A640 really is a magnificent beast.

Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x32

Black-headed Gull in flight

Another couple of shots from the DSLR.

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Canon EOS500D 70-300mm IS USM

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Snow Buntings

A few hours on the Norfolk coast. The Snow Buntings were performing well at Salthouse but disturbance from gulls and people meant they never quite settled for the killer shot in the best light.

Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus, courtship

Canon EOS500D 70-300mm IS USM

Friday, March 02, 2012

Pink-footed Goose

One bird remains from two found last week by Josh Jones at Eye Green NR (yet another site that has been turned into a toilet by the local dog owners).

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77 x32