Between the Showers!

A couple of juvenile goldfinches posed on my neighbours’ cedar in the early evening sunshine today. This was the best shot.

A walk down Attenborough NR yielded some pleasant views over the ‘ponds’, many swans, a black backed gull with a youngster, great crested grebe on a nest (not much chance of success but we saw a changeover so they might have eggs), one or two sand martins and a lot of lapwings.

A Rutland Ramble

My second trip to Rutland Water this year yielded some good spots. Notable were several views of Great White Egrets including a group of three, distant views of an Osprey (perched and flying), a marauding buzzard, a Snipe and a Common Sandpiper.

This was my first view of Great White Egret at Rutland Water. It was standing near to a Little Egret which highlights the differences between them.

A snipe and a common sandpiper were the only waders that I saw today.

Six Legged Wildlife

Dragonflies were the most prolific form of wildlife at ANR today but as usual the most difficult to photograph except when resting. I’m not sure of the identity of this example but I thought it made a pleasing image.

In the nature garden behind the visitor centre a small tortoiseshell butterfly favoured the marsh marigolds but the painted lady preferred the purple loosestrife.

Ruff Birding

I did not recognise this bird at first, thinking it might be a juvenile gull but a fellow birder identified it as a ruff that had been around the ridge and furrow field at ANR for some time. It has a damaged left foot which accounts for its hobbling gait and possibly why it is hanging around.

I have been keeping an eye on a great crested grebe nest for some time and was not surprised to find it washed away by the the recent foul weather (when we were on holiday!) But all was not lost. I caught sight of an adult GCG with a juvenile close by which was soon joined by another adult bringing a fish for the youngster. The family party was a bit distant but I hope you can see the baby on one adult’s back being fed by the other clearly enough.

A Dorset Doddle

We have just come back from a stay close to Corfe Castle on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. The holiday was bracketed and punctuated by wind and rain but we still had some trips out and the view from our accommodation was delightful. These comical chickens made regular use of the patio furniture and our alpaca neighbours enhanced the view from the lounge.

Our nearest nature reserve was at Arne overlooking Poole Harbour. I had hoped to see a Dartford warbler but I was content with sights of wheatears and a distant view of an osprey.

At Lodmoor RSPB in Weymouth. We saw ringed plovers, oyster catchers, a black tailed godwit, sandpipers and two great white egrets but the only good photos were of a grey wagtail and a little egret.

And finally a painted lady butterfly at RSPB Arne.

Long Tailed Tits

Early evening yesterday (8th) we had a visit from a flock of blue, great and long tailed tits. The LTTs are looking a bit more mature but still a fluffy so they never look in sharp focus.

Beautiful Insects in the Garden

Just after posting some pictures from my visit to ANR on Monday a peacock butterfly alighted on our buddleia – aka the butterfly bush.

Approaching the bush for a close-up of the peacock I noticed a dragonfly resting on one of the spent flowers. It appears to be a female Southern Migrant Hawker

Later a painted lady settled on a leaf on the apple tree. Waiting for it to open its wings fully I noticed that the under-wing was also quite photogenic.

These remarkable insects migrate many thousands of miles from Africa in large groups at high altitude at speeds of up to 30 mph