Friday, 9 July 2010

Thursday am.

A slightly earlier start today found me treading the paths and bridleways around Bookham Common this morning. As I headed towards one of my favourite woodland glades birdsong was virtually nonexistent probably due to the repeated sound of gunshots from an adjoining property! 
In the glade there was plenty of early breakfast food for 'flutters' and other insects.
Ladybird seeking out its prey.
As expected there were masses of Ringlets plus Meadow Browns constantly on the wing together with a few Skippers perched low down all trying to keep out of the grip of a hunting Emperor Dragonfly that was making occasional forays around the glade and then disappearing somewhere deep in the grass.
Large Skipper (Ochlodes venata).
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia).
Above is the female, much darker than the males who were dashing around at much higher altitudes together with a few White Admirals. No sign yet of the elusive Purple Emperors but I did spot what I believe to be the much smaller Purple Hairstreak fidgeting high above the canopy of the mature oak trees.
Overhead the distinctive call of not one but three Common Buzzards soaring higher and higher while Jays, Crows and Jackdaws called from within the woodlands.
With nothing else new in front of the lens I headed to the new hide that overlooks the recently dredged Upper Eastern Pond. The resident Little Grebe was spending most of its time underwater while Moorhens with their chicks skirted the pond margins.
There were three seperate families of Mallard with youngsters at various stages of development on the pond and the mothers keeping a look out for their charges. 
One of the resident Grey Herons flew in and took up its sentry position before attempting to do an impression of a 'Bittern'! Nearby a Great Spotted Woodpecker was tapping away hoping to find its breakfast under the bark of a tree and a Green Woodie 'yaffled' as it flew across the pond.
Comma (Polygonia c-album).
Easily identified by its ragged outline when at rest but could be mistaken for a fritillary due to its overall colour and the rapid flight pattern interspersed with twisting glides.
Leaving the common around midday with a Yellowhammer singing from atop of a telegraph pole I headed off to Stoke Meadows to see if I could find anything different.....FAB.


  1. I'm just getting caught up with your last few posts. I was away again! I cannot believe how much cool stuff I missed.

  2. Nice selection of photos.I get a litlte uneasy when I hear gunshots.I was pelted by birdshot a couple of times.I've heard that you have hides that actually work over your way.The ones they have around here are usually set up where there aren't any birds or facing the wrong way.

  3. Your images prove what a wonderful morning you had. So pretty.

  4. Lots of interesting stuff here - the ladybug shot is awesome and the fritillary looks so absolutely 3-D!
    What an attractive sign, I'm glad you included it in your post :-)
    The gray heron is quite handsome. I've never hear of a yellowhammer. Glad I got to see one!

  5. I always enjoy the variety in your posts. That Grey Heron is really impressive.

  6. I really the shot of the grey heron doing its bittern imitation!

  7. Hi Frank...I love the shots of the comma and ladybird, and the heron trying to do the Bittern impersonation!

  8. Lovely collection Frank,love the Grey Heron,your Header looks Fab.

  9. Some good sightings there and ooooh Yellowhammer!

    Must put Bookham on the list for a visit! Did't know they had a birdhide there!

  10. I do so love the shot of the Heron doing the Bittern pose!! ; }
    I have seen Bittens in the pond near by do that and it is almost impossible to spot them!!

  11. That Silver-washed Fratillary is the best, they have been too fast and doesn't settle down. I've been hard at it, but I couldn't catch it. Never mind, I'll catch it if don't kill me. The rest of your blog is really good Frank.

  12. Steve B. Just like Gloucester there is always something worth watching over here. Can't quite match your COOL boat trip.

    Larry. Me too...I had to check that nothing was falling in my direction! Yes, a lot of reserves have purpose built 'all weather' observation hides...great in the winter weather. The one at Bookham faces straight into the sun...not ideal but better than nothing.

    Lois. The afternoon pics will be coming online very soon.

    Bad Girl. Yellowhammer is becoming a rarity locally..has a lovely song..sounds like "a little bit of bread and nooo cheeese"!
    BTW..Do you have a 'real' name?

    Steve Willson. Ta very much. The wood has been heavily thinned so should provide better views of the graceful Grey Herons.

    Wilma. A little unusual but a great pose.

  13. Hi Kelly. It's beena while since any bird sat still in the open hence all the pics of dragons and butterflies.

    JRandSue. Appreciate your comments John, especially fronm the 'macro-master'.

    Tricia. Yellowhammer is not the easiest one to find locally so getting any sort of pic is just great.

    grammie g. Thankfully the Grey Heron doesn't usually hide away like the Bittern.

    Bob. Don't let a small flutter kill you. Find a good spot..sit quietly and one will appear eventually.

  14. A good morning by the looks of it Frank. Some cracking shots there. Love the Heron ;)

  15. What a nice variety of wildlife you got on this walk Frank. Love the Bittern impression! (-:

  16. Hi Keith. It started slowly but got better as the hours passed by.

    Hi Jenny. Amazing what you can see if you just let nature do it's thing. Yes, the Bittern pose was a bit special.

  17. Great shot of the SW Fritillary Frank, I should be so lucky.

  18. Roy. Just delighted to share this stunning flutter.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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