We paid a visit to the local boating lake to test out a new lens on the birds using the lake for bathing.
No - we haven’t been running around naked. It’s a term butterfly enthusiasts apply to hunting for any member of the hairstreak family of butterflies. We spent 3 days in a wood searching for brown hairstreak butterflies. The weather was dull and showery so we weren’t sure of our chances as the females need warm & sunny weather before they come down from the ash trees to lay their eggs on blackthorn. However, when the sun came out for a brief moment we spotted a single female and enjoyed watching her for the few minutes of sunshine before she disappeared.
The cool weather did allow us close views of resting dragonflies
and butterflies that usually zip around and are difficult to catch
This month we made a few dawn raids to a local stoat hot-spot. The early starts were rewarded by a couple of close encounters with a hyperactive stoat. Rarely standing still for more than a millisecond, this tiny bundle of fur dashed in and out of the rocks.
We spent a week based in Rutland. Here several counties are close together and at times we weren’t sure which one we were in. One day we travelled through 6 counties - Rutland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
A few days were spent in the woods of Northamptonshire were HRH the purple emperor graced us with his presence.
We also saw a few white admirals
A hop over the county border into Bedfordshire produced sightings of possibly the last couple of black hairstreaks of the season.
In a field in Lincolnshire, where thistles have been allowed to grow wild, we found hundreds of dark green fritillaries.
In a Cambridegshire wood silver-washed fritillaries were also taking advantage of the abundant supply of nectar
A hover fly tries to get in on the act
In late June & early July we always try to pay a visit to the Great Orme in Llandudno, just a few miles from home. This time of year is when the silver-studded blue butterflies are on the wing. Like many of our butterflies, they were just a bit later than usual this year possibly due to the cold spring.
A mating pair
An uncharacteristic male, without the silver studs
Because of their wild nature most Scottish islands are remarkable places for wildlife. As they’re often quite remote they are also very quiet with small numbers of inhabitants or visitors.
This year we planned a three-week trip to the Orkney islands from late May through June.
Click on the image below for images :-
Click on the image below to see the black grouse and other wildlife images from our trip :-
On a walk from home we found a pair of long-tailed tits taking feathers into their nest deep inside a fir tree. For the next few days we watched them come in with their beaks full of feathers. After reading that the average long-tailed tit nest contains around 1500 feathers we thought we’d give them a helping hand and collected a few feathers to help them out. We snagged these on some nearby brambles and the birds were happy to collect the handouts.
White-fronted goose taking off
White-fronted geese up, up & away
Barnacle geese in the snow
Barnacle geese in the sea
Inquisitive Highland cows
Practising a few boxing moves on the spot
That inquisitive look hares do so well
Hare on the hop
Otter in the seaweed
Otter running down the beach
Two otter cubs are ‘parked’ on the beach while mum goes fishing
The two cubs on the lookout for mum
Breaking through the surf bringing a crab to shore
Judging by the scars on this cub’s nose, early lessons with crabs were painful
but it seems to have got the hang of it now
Sneaking ashore at the end of the day, heading for home
An old dog otter bearing a few battle scars