Saturday, 28 May 2016

Blue Tits Fledging.

While checking the progress of vegetable seedlings in the garden this afternoon I realised that the adult Blue Tits were extremely vocal so I went to investigate. 

Initially I thought they were indicating that one of the neighbourhood cats was nearby but then I noticed a very young head peeping out of the nest box so I dashed back indoors to tell Anita and to get the camera.

From about 1.15 pm we watched and counted four young Blue Tits leave the box and fly into a neighbours Birch. 

Including my initial sighting I'm guessing that they successfully reared at least five.

So here are a few images of this event.

 Do I really what to leave?

Hmmm ... it's a bit different out there!
OK ... Here goes.

During the afternoon the adults made various forays to the feeder closest to the house and carried food back to their fledglings who remained in their hidden location. I caught one adult vocalising as another local feline slinked across the patio!

Linking to:
Nature Notes

Friday, 27 May 2016

Friday Flutters.

My butterfly transect walk earlier this week through the woodland glades on Ashtead Common only produced two species; Brimstone and Speckled Wood (see image left) plus views of several Speckled Yellow, a day flying moth patrolling the open tracks; so on Thursday I decided to wander the southern chalk downland slope at Denbies Hillside.

Before tackling the downward slope I wandered across the upper meadow; the track-way lined with buttercups; and spotted numerous Five-spot Burnet moths amongst the grasses.

Five-spot Burnet.

A mating pair.

Descending the slope towards the gate provided my first view this year of a Common Blue perched low down in the grassy sword keeping out of the north-easterly breeze.

A few Brimstone and a solitary Orange-tip were also seen patrolling the field edge.

I was also delighted to see decent numbers of our commonest grassland species, the tiny Small Heath, which from past experience rarely perch for very long but I found one individual that sat just long enough for the lens to focus on it.

Small Heath.

My peripheral vision locked onto another inconspicuous and well camouflaged species, a Green Hairstreak, also hiding deep in the hillside vegetation. 

Green Hairstreak.

Deciding to take a rest and eat my packed lunch close to a bare patch of chalk was a good choice as I was shortly able to enjoy decent views of a fresh male Adonis Blue.

Adonis Blue (male).

On reaching the bottom of the slope I eventually came across a female Adonis Blue (see below).

Adonis Blue (female).

Finally a shot of the hillside resident that is a very important grazing species on the downs, necessary for creating very fine, short turf that is required by the rare Adonis Blue and other downland species.

Linking to:
Saturday's Critters

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

New Life.

A brief session with a couple of the Canada goslings, now just a few weeks old,  as they explored their new surroundings.


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