Thursday, 31 July 2014

Evarcha falcata

Sorry, I've shown these before, but I can't stop photographing them when I find them. Common on Heathland in north Notts,  about 5mm in lenght and seem to have real character,  wave your finger in front of them and they will turn and pose for the camera.  

Small Heath

Not one that's noticed too much and then only in passing, compared to the Peacock, Comma and Red Admiral and even butterflies of similar size such as the Small copper and Common blue the small heath can hardly be described as a classic beauty.  However I hope this photograph just shows how stunning a little beast it really is.  Earlier in this series of blogs I photographed the Dingy Skipper.  Getting up close to this little butterfly certainly changed my view on this our supposedly drabbest of butterflies.  Now I have to say that the Small Heath is up there with the Skipper.  Far more subtle in colour than many of of our more popular species. 

Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus, Budby Heath 29th July 2014

Monday, 28 July 2014

Philanthus triangulum, the Beewolf.

Philanthus trianglum - Budby 28/07/14

No apologies for more images of this little beast, one of my favourite wasps, the Beewolf.  Same place as last year, Budby Heath. Only saw the one male which was far from camera shy staying in the same area, hovering a little and then settling on blades of grass. Not a lot happening on the heath today, a few Colletes Bees waiting for the heather to flower, a few Epeolus cuckoo bees.  Day finished poorly as I managed to lose a piece of the the net I use to catch and examine the odd specimen. No big deal really, but I've had that net for over 35 years and I don't much fancy a new one, it just wouldn't feel the same. I retraced my steps several times but didn't manage to find the missing bit.  Never mind its my birthday on Saturday, might treat myself to a new one, even though I had my eyes on the latest and just published RES handbook on Vespoid wasps. I'll probably get both if I'm honest.  

Beewolf, habitas photograph, Budby Heath July 2014 

Beewolf, spent most of its time flitting from one grass stem to another. 

And another habitas photograph of the Beewolf. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Purple Hairstreak

Stumbled upon a rather obliging Purple Hairstreak. Favonia quercus, in Cotgrave Forest on Saturday. Hope you like the pictures.  Also saw White letter Hairstreak but too high in the trees for a good photograph. 

Purple Hairstreak - Cotgrave Forest 12/07/2014
Purple Hairstreak Cotgrave Forest 12/07/2014

Monday, 7 July 2014

Hoveringham, Black Tailed Skimmers and one of the UK's most beautiful Hoverflies.

Black Tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, Hoveringham 06/07/2014
I haven't been out and about much of late, other commitments and watching my son play a bit of cricket,  two hundreds and a fifty in the 3 innings prior to me going to watch him, managed to get himself out first ball when I'm there to watch.  He is now in Sri Lanka hopefully seeing some wonderful wildlife and avoiding Dengue fever.  Weather forecast for Sunday wasn't to promising but the afternoon shaped up really nicely, good sunny spells with some warmth in the air.  A walk down to Hoveringham and the flooded gravel pits.  Plenty of dragonflies about most being Black Tailed Skimmers, not a dragonfly I find too often around here but really common in and around the stream that skirts the pits.   I also found what I consider to be the most beautiful of British flies Chrysotoxum festivum.  I have these in the garden every year but they always seem to settle just out of camera reach.  

Chrysotoxum festivum, Hoveringham 6th July 2014
Black Tailed Skimmer - Hoveringham Nottinghamshire 6th July 2014