Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Upton Towens

9th July 2017.

A day out with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Photo Group at Upton Towens near Hayle , an area of sand dunes and coastal vegetation ,fantastic habitat for a great variety of species . Specialities here include Silver Studded Blue and Dark Green Fritillary Butterflies as well as a host of other wildlife.
Looking across to Godrevy Lighthouse

Silver Studded Blues mating

Silver Studded Blue

Whilst  photographing these Pyramidal Orchid a Silver Studded Blue landed and posed just long enough for me to get a shot.

Dark Green Fritillary

Small Skippers 

Scarlet Tiger Moth

Scarlet Tiger Moth

Scarlet Tiger Moths

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Colour Purple

7th July 2017.

Nanquidno in West Cornwall is ablaze with colour in the summer with fields of Purple Bugloss and Corn Marigold,  a feast for the eyes, a joy to behold, just sitting in the sun trying to take it in, where better in the world could you be...A Peacock Butterfly finds a thistle among the Bugloss to feed on to add to the scene.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Bonking Beetles

8th July 2017.

The Common Red Soldier Beetle ( Rhagonycha fulva) also known as the Bloodsucker or the Bonking Beetle (honest) is very common, usually found on umbellifer  flowers such as Hogweed and Cow Parsley. They do indeed  spend much of their short lives mating,( I guess if you haven't much time on this planet ). In early July they seemed to be everywhere, it is one of those insects you pass by and don't bother with, so I made the effort and spent an hour or so trying to photographing them.
Common Red Soldier Beetles

Common Red Soldier Beetles doing what they do best.

Common Red Soldier Beetles

Common Red Soldier Beetles

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Amur Falcon

7th July 2017

After hearing of the Amur Falcon at Polgigga in West Cornwall on the Thursday evening, I made the easy decision to get up early on the Friday morning ( thankfully a day off ) and drive down to hopefully get to see it. This is only the second record for Britain and the first for Cornwall, and obviously a lifer for me. The Amur Falcon breeds in S.E.Siberia and N.China before migrating to winter in S.Africa., so how it found itself in West Cornwall I don't know. On arrival I was relieved to be told the bird was still present in the area , though had flown from its roosting site, I teamed up with a couple of birders I knew from 'up my end of the county' and thankfully the Falcon was relocated hunting around nearby fields and hedgerows, quite distant at first but then giving some very close flybys before at around eleven o'clock gaining height and disappearing into the distance. I took a few  distant record shots and a couple as it flew overhead, but at the end of the day was just glad to have seen it as those who arrived any later went home disappointed.
Amur Falcon, first distant view through the heat haze.

Amur Falcon

Amur Falcon take off


Overhead and away.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Woodchat Shrike

2nd July 2017.

This male Woodchat Shrike ( Lanius senator ) took up residence for a couple of days at Boscastle on the North Cornwall coast, a rare vagrant to Cornwall and even more so up here in the north of the county .I managed a few record shots but didn't try to get to close to it while it was busy feeding.
Male Woodchat Shrike

Bringing up a pellet

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


27th June 2017.

Joyce and I drove up across Dartmoor , as usual I had an ulterior motive which was to search for the High Brown Fritillary Butterfly at  Aish Tor , the weather wasn't great, and although we saw one or two Fritillarys on the wing and one landed briefly on Bramble Flower, without seeing the underwing it was impossible to separate them from the Dark Green Fritillary which also breed here. However I did find a young Dartford Warbler which was a bonus and on the way home we stopped at St Raphaels Church at Hexworthy where a Spotted Flycatcher was using the bell tower as a perch.
High Brown or Dark Green Fritillary??

Young Dartford Warbler

Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Monday, 24 July 2017

Four species in one tree

24th June 2017.

Bit of an unusual shot taken at Yarner wood on Dartmoor, with four species all lined up in the top of a tree. Linnet, Yellowhammer, Redpoll and Stonechat, although I must admit I didn't notice the Linnet at the time of looking through the viewfinder.
Four species in one tree.