Other commitments etc. have prevented me from posting as often as I had planned but I have still been lacing up the boots most days and taking a stroll in the fresh air somewhere fairly local to home. I have therefore built up a backlog of snaps of the local terrain and the visible wildlife.
At the end of last month a grey overcast day saw me heading into one of the far corners of Horton Country Park to relocate a stretch of scrub and brambles alongside the boundary fence of one of the horse paddocks. With rain threatening and a stiff breeze blowing I was not too hopeful but you can always be surprised with what may be found including a Six-spot Burnet Moth and a female Gatekeeper.
Taking a rest on the leaves were Large and Small Skippers.
As the first band of light rain moved in the horses slowly moved towards me and several leant over the fence apparently using the hedgerow to screen their faces from the precipitation while I tried desperately to keep myself and the camera gear dry.
I didn't have to search very far for more Gatekeepers resting in the hedgerow. The males are distinguished from the females by the dark sex bands on their forewings whereas the underwing patterns are very similar.
Leaving the paddock the boots trod through woodland with the occasional sounds of Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Nuthatch plus a brief encounter with young Blackcaps, Great and Blue Tits. A fallen feather was perfectly cradled by some leaves. The boots pressed onwards along the cycle tracks with the foliage canopy protecting me from most of the rain as the front rolled onwards.
An unexpected find was a Holly Blue that always rests with its wings closed but far more common and widespread was the dark male Meadow Brown.
With the clouds rolling away the boots headed into the open, skirting around the empty paddocks except for the sounds of Goldfinches feeding amoungst the large areas of wild thistles, to check out another scrubby area that produced an unidentified Hawk Moth, Bees actively feeding and a what I believe to be is a very young Bush Cricket (top left) with its very long antennae not very inconspicuous on the dry ground!
During my leisurely stroll I saw many of the very colourful Small Coppers. Like most species the underwing colour and pattern is so different from the upper wings providing some measure of camouflage when resting or feeding. More coming soon I hope. FAB.