Saturday, 19 November 2011

A good days birding!

Today John and I decided to go to the Lizard. Our first stop was Brays Cot, a good vantage point to look across Goonhilly Downs for raptors. We had a Marsh Harrier,  Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and two Merlins. 

John spotted a Richard's Pipit fly up from the heathland and land in a nearby tree where we had good views. Our friend, Dan Eva arrived just in time to see it fly out of the tree and head east calling as it went. I was very happy as the Richard's Pipit was a new bird for me!

Next stop was to see the six Common Cranes. As we arrived we saw them flying in so I was able to get a few flight shots before they landed in the stubble field next to the road to Cadgwith.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Autumn Leaves

Today I went for a walk in Lanhydrock Woods near Bodmin. There were definite signs of autumn with the leaves changing colour. I came across this Horse Chestnut tree with the light shining through the leaves. The photographs below are the result of some photo techniques that I have been experimenting with. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Here's looking at you!

I was looking through my photographs and came across this picture! It is the face of a Blue-tailed Damselfly, which I photographed using my macro lens. It was resting on a wooden railing which has given the pale background which I think helps to bring out its green eyes and pale blue face.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Lulworth Skippers

At the beginning of July, John and I went in search of Lulworth Skippers which are confined to the south facing chalk hills and cliffs of Dorset. Having visited Lulworth Cove without success we decided to try Durlston Country Park at Swanage. Here we were much more successful and were treated to some very close views.

Male Lulworth Skipper

Female Lulworth Skipper.
The female has a characteristic golden crescent on the forewing.

The female Lulworth Skippers lay their eggs within curled Tor Grass leaves as seen below.


John also took some video of the Lulworth Skippers which can viewed below:-

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pectoral Sandpiper at Marazion Beach

This juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper has spent the last couple of days on the freshwater outflow on Marazion beach. The sandpiper was very confiding and allowed fantastic views.  

Tintagel to Trebarwith Strand

Making the most of the sunny weather, and a day off, Dad and I went for a coastal walk from Tintagel to Trebarwith Strand. We walked down to Tintagel Castle and then along the coast to Trebarwith. 

The picture below was taken looking south towards Trebarwith Strand. The beach which disappears at high tide is popular with surfers.

Walking further along the coast towards Trebarwith are the remains of slate quarries which have pinnacles of unworked rock. The column you can see in the picture below is about 70 feet high. 

Monday, 26 September 2011

Summer Butterflies

This is the first of several posts that will look back at the butterflies that John and I have seen over the summer.

On 14th August we made a day trip to Fontmell Down Nature Reserve in Dorset to look for the Silver-spotted Skipper.

This butterfly is still quite rare in Britain with its habitat restricted to chalk downland. We spent several hours at the site and saw about a dozen of these beautiful skippers. They were very flighty and quite difficult to photograph with the best opportunities being when they were feeding on their favourite flowers, Dwarf Thistles.

The hillside was covered in flowers including Autumn Gentian (left) and Autumn Lady's Tresses (right).

John also took some video of the Silver-spotted Skipper and his film can be seen on his You Tube channel. (Double click the image to enlarge.)


Sunday, 25 September 2011

An evening walk by the Truro River

Another evening trip, this time to see the Lesser Yellowlegs on the Truro River at St Clement. We saw the Yellowlegs feeding with Redshank and Greenshank on the waters edge but unfortunately it was too distant for a picture. As we walked back we were treated to some lovely views across the river as the sun came out and lit up the trees on the opposite bank. I only had my telephoto lens with me so I took this picture with the camera on my phone using the Panorama setting!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Golden Plover on Davidstow Airfield

On 19th September John and I made an evening trip to Davidstow Airfield to look for the White-rumped Sandpiper. We had very brief views of the sandpiper but this Golden Plover was more obliging!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Semipalmated Sandpiper at Drift Reservoir

On 13th September this Semipalmated Sandpiper was found at Drift Reservoir. This sandpiper has half webbed toes giving the bird its unusual name.

These photographs were taken in the evening as the sun was beginning to set.