Friday, April 26, 2013

Purple Thorn

Following hot on the heels of yesterday's Early Thorn is this, its rather more attractive congener.

Purple Thorn Selenia tetralunaria

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Acleris cristana

For once only moths in the trap this morning (unless you count the small diptera) and a decent bit of variety including a garden first, Acleris cristana. Unfortunately a rather poor photo as I wasn't aware of the significance at first and it was a dull morning in any case. You can just make out the diagnostic tuft of pale scales about half way along each wing. There are very many attractive colour forms of this moth, of which this is probably about as dull as they get.

Acleris cristana

Brindled Beauty Lycia hirtaria

Early Thorn Selenia dentaria

Shoulder Stripe Anticlea badiata

0663 Diurnea fagella 1
1054 Acleris cristana 1
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 1
1746 Shoulder-stripe (Anticlea badiata) 1
1862 Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 1
1917 Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 1
1927 Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria) 1
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 3
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 1
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 5

Photos taken on Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Moth trapping?

A first in the moth trap this morning. Occasionally get bees in the trap but this is the first Early Bumblebee. There was also a Black Sexton Beetle in the trap but they are frequent.

Among the moths were the first Double-striped Pug and Lead-coloured Drab of the year. Just Hebrew Character and Clouded Drab otherwise so still very slow going.

Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum, queen

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tanholt GP

Second day in a row I've nipped in here at lunchtime. More Blackcaps about today plus first Whitethroat and Reed Warbler. Little Ringed Plovers up to at least 5 now and the Redshank and Green Sandpiper singletons still there. Loads of Peacock butterflies and the odd Brimstone and Comma.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hairy-footed Flower Bee

Plenty of insects in the garden today supervising the tidying, pruning, digging, planting and mowing. This pulmonaria was a magnet for bees, especially the Hairy-footed Flower Bee. Male and female look quite different with the latter being largely black, unlike the colourful males.

Hairy-Footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes


The same plant was popular with Bee-flies as well.

Bee-fly Bombylius major

A huge queen wasp:

Common Wasp Vespula vulgaris, queen

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Head and Shoulders

Some bird closeups from a day in the garden.

Woodpigeon Columba palumbus

Dunnock Prunella modularis

House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring morning, Elton

A very fine morning with a few butterflies, frogs in ampelexus, one or two Swallows and a lot of Treecreeper song around the village. The winter thrushes of a couple of days ago had gone and were replaced by singing Chiffchaffs. A pair of Grey Wagtails was active around the mill.

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris and Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea

Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Friday, April 12, 2013


My first of the year at Ferry Meadows this evening.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS


Introduced into France for their fur in the 19th century these are now an established part of the Provencale fauna. Ragondin in French and not popular with our fabulous host at Mas des Demoiselles due to their rather ratty looks (and French name), I reckon these are pretty cool and not difficult to see here at the Parc Ornithologique in the Carmargue. This family party of an adult with at least three young were feeding close to one of the paths and, although wary, would approach quite close. The adult was not very tolerant of the young when they approached though.

Coypu Myocastor coypus

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Common Terns

My first bona fide local summer migrants of the year. Note the bird on the right with the rather dark bill (a winter plumage feature) is ringed but I can't read the ring.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Black-winged Stilts

Another blast from the Carmargue the weekend before last.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Share and share alike

Taken in the gloom at 3200 ISO. The Bank Voles love the fat ball feeder as much as the Long-tailed Tits.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

European Green Lizard

More action from the Carmargue a week ago. It was warm enough one afternoon for these to be active at the Parc Ornithologique.

European green lizard, Lacerta viridis

Canon Powershot SX50 HS

Saturday, April 06, 2013

It's Officially Spring

First Bee-fly of the year in the garden on this sunny but still rather chilly day. Always think this cracking little bee-mimic is one of the first real signs of spring. Also had a Pipistrelle at Tansor in the evening.

Bee-fly Bombylius major

Canon Powershot SX50 HS