Saturday, 27 August 2011

Red Admiral

There are still a few butterflies visiting the garden. Gate keepers and this striking red admiral butterfly.
It was once thought that all red admirals died out ion the winter months, replaced by butterflies the following the year flying across the channel. Due to the milder winters, a few red admiral butterflies do overwinter as adults as they are seen in January and February - too early to be migrants from the continent.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


I noticed this dragonfly resting on our garden path yesterday.

I think its a common darter, possibly a female.

Today, I noticed this stunning dragonfly. My first glimpse was a dragonfly passing the window. When I went out to investigate, I accidentally disturbed it from our sunflowers where it had been resting. It flew out of our garden and I carefully followed.
It had landed on a rock rose bush overhanging our garden wall. I think its a male southern hawker. This looked like the dragonfly I had seen patrolling our road on 24th August.
I was able to slowly move really close and got this close up picture with the road and car opposite in the same picture, taken on wide angle.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

More pipisterlle bat observations

I have continued to watch the pipistrelle bats. They circle right over our garden wall and it I stand still they fly past sometimes only a foot away.
The best chance of photographing the bats is when they circles the tree across the track, as it provides a chance to predict where they are likely to fly next. They are very fast and the pictures have to be taken wide angle. At times the bats are only a foot off the ground as they hunts. There are always moths around the Red Valerian, particularly silver y-wing moths. The pictures are not excellent but you can see many of the features such as the finger bones that support the wings.
The bats now appear at about 8.45pm as it gets darker earlier. They forage for about 30 minutes, flying back and forth, often turning above my head as our garden is at the end of the track.
Its such a treat seeing these fascinating little mammals up close.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Christian Moullec at the Shoreham airshow

This is Christian Moullec at the Shoreham airshow with his imprinted barnacle geese.

This is what baby geese usually do with their mother. Christian hopes to use what he learns to help rare geese (such as the white fronted geese) to migrate to new area starting new colonies in other areas.
They did look spectacular

Friday, 12 August 2011

Pipistrelle Bats

I have been watching the pipistrelle bats now most evenings. Now that its getting darker earlier they now appear about 9.00pm.

They are still foraging in the track that runs past our garden. When I stand by our garden wall they pass overhead by about a foot. This is the turning point before they fly back up the track. In fact one came so close the other day I felt the wind on my face.

Photographing the bats is very tricky because they are so fast and the shutter often delays even with a flash. The picture below makes the bat look like a ghost.
The other evening I saw 2 bats performing what looked like courtship. This occurs between end of July and beginning of October.

The bats continue to feed for about 30 minutes and then they move onto to another location. Last night I noticed one of the bats foraging around the apple tree that overhangs our back garden.

I have not seen much of the foxes lately. The cubs usually leave the den in September to find their own territory. Their single cub was still looking under developed when I saw it last a week or so ago.