Sunday, 2 August 2009

Great! :-)

I haven't really had a lot to blog about lately, but today Bun and I went to The Somerset Levels to see the Great White Egret that has been there for a while. This was somewhat of a consolation twitch because what I really wanted to see was the Great Spotted Cuckoo, which has turned up again in North Norfolk. It was touch and go for a while whether we would go to Norfolk, but in the end I decided that I couldn't face the long drive there and back in a day, besides, if my luck at Bartinney Down is anything to go by, it would probably vanish the moment I set off. This morning I was soon regretting this decision when it had already been seen not long after 6.00 am. Oh well, not to worry, seeing the Great White Egret would take my mind off it, and it certainly would have done if Bun's pager hadn't kept reminding us of the Cuckoo's continued presence with monotonous regularity! ;-)

The Great White Egret was very nice indeed, and showing superbly right out in the open for the whole time we were there. We hadn't realised before, what a very long and extremely thin neck they actually have, (it looked like a piece of string) even though we'd seen one earlier this year at Pymoor, Cambridgeshire. I suppose we didn't notice on that one because it was so very, very distant.

Very glary in the strong sun (yes, it was sunny for a while)
and bigger than a Grey Heron

We left the Egret for a while to have a bit of a look around the rest of the reserve, the shed highlight was this sumptuous lakeside model.

When we got back to the Egret it had come a fair bit nearer and the sun had gone in, making getting a decent photo... just as difficult as ever!! (It's closer though)

A short video showing that it didn't' just stand there', which was nice!

And here's a video I've dug out of the archives. It's from Pymoor last January. It was taken on our first attempt at seeing (we dipped) the Great White Egret which was there, but quite elusive. The weather was absolutely FREEZING!! Dampening some people's enthusiasm, as you'll be able to hear. :-)

The moth trap's been out at Bun's house several times since my last post on here, catches have ranged from a pathetic 26 to an average 46. The weather hasn't helped but the main reason for our poor results is most likely our proximity to Steve's two MV traps! His house is lit up like Heathrow Airport, and the moths are literally sucked out of the sky before they reach Bun's house. We have had a few new moths for the garden though, namely, Scarce Footman, Common Rustic, Red twin-spot Carpet (or Dark-barred Twin-spot), and Swallow Prominent.

Red Twin-spot Carpet or possibly Dark Barred Twin-spot Carpet, who can tell?

Swallow Prominent

A few other insect highlights: On Friday there were lots of butterflies in Morganhayes Wood including 5 Silver-washed Fritillaries, (my largest count on patch) I didn't take any more photos of them, but these Red Soldier Beetles caught my eye. I don't know what the plant is that they were congregating on (a parsley of some sort), but it was having a very obvious effect on their reproductive urges!

Soldier Beetle orgy!!?

Late this afternoon I took Rex for his walk on Axe Cliff, the first time I've visited here for over four weeks I think. It was very windy and the sky was very black and threatening, but fortunately the shower passed by, just. There were virtually no birds to speak of but dozens of butterflies including over 30 Painted Ladies, my first Wall Brown for several months and also some pristine second generation Common Blues.

Wall Brown

Common Blue and Storm Clouds


Wilma said...

The composition of that last photo of the common blue is stunning. Glad you had a great day.

John said...

I agree with Wilma, the last photo of the Common Blue is wonderful, very atmospheric, surprised we have any Butterflies left after all the rain. The shed makes a great des res ;-)


Karen Woolley said...

Thanks, Wilma and John both.

I wanted to take a photo of the threatening looking sky and figured it'd be more interesting with a butterfly in front of it :-)