Thursday, 5 May 2011

Non Birdie Patchwalk.

Whilst I enjoyed the very vocal songs of the Common Whitethroat and Garden Warbler yesterday my patch walk at Epsom Common today didn't produce anything new so I headed over onto Ashtead Common to check out for signs of any other life around The Rye ... a small stream that meanders through the grassland and woodland.

 Initially it all seemed very quiet but a few flutters soon appeared including this Speckled Wood ...

.... and then a Holly Blue trying to remain hidden amongst the grasses.

I saw a Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) flying frantically around one of the muddy shallow pools just over a week ago but failed to get any pics. Today the conditions were much less windy and I watched a single male busily patrolling its territory and waited for it to perch.

Typical of this species as soon as you try to get too close (even from behind) they fly away. Anyway my patience eventually paid off although the strong overhead sunshine was rather harsh and he was soon off again chasing and catching up with a female.

The female hovered briefly just above the water and constantly dipped as she oviposited on the underwater vegetation and then promptly disappeared
Another find was this recently emerged teneral male Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).

A Black and Red Froghopper (Ceropis vulnerata) paid a brief visit close to where I was resting. The froghopper is very conspicuous, its black body with red markings acting as a warning to predators that it is distasteful.
A few of the Flag Iris (I. pseudacorus) provided some additional colour to end my stroll.   FAB.


  1. beautiful shots! no matter what you aim at, you make it beautiful!

  2. It's nice to have other things to look at and take photos of when the birds aren't cooperating.great job with the photos-I especially like the hovering shots of the female!

  3. Wonderful captures, Frank...especially the Holly Blue!!

  4. A very good non-birding walk there, Frank.

  5. Lovely set of images Frank, the Chaser flight shots are brilliant.

  6. Sometimes Frank, its even nice to go out walking with just binoculars and no camera. Not often though.

  7. Lovely sightings from your non birdie patch walk Frank, Holly Blue's seem to be everywhere at the moment, and very nice to see the Broad Bodied Chaser. Linda

  8. Even with no birdies, it looks like a very productive day. Nice photos!

  9. Thanks texwisgirl. I try my best .. most of the time.

    Hi Larry. Strangely enough I had a similar day today but also a longer list of birds seen and heard.!

    Hi Cindy. Thanks, there are lots of this blue one about at the moment.

    Cheers Dean.

    Thanks Monty. I still need some practice catching these speed merchants!

    Hi Roy. I don't think I dare leave a camera behind!

    Hi Linda. Yes, I'm amazed at the numbers I am seeing this year. Saw a couple of other Dragons and Damsels today ... the list is getting longer.

    Hi Mona. Thanks. You can't rely on the birdies to perform for the lens every day!

  10. Some lovely images there Frank.
    Love the chasers.....

    The weather has been so dry, hasn't it?
    I am probably in the minority but I would be really pleased if it rained.....

  11. Thanks Cheryl and you can make that a minority of two then. Actually I'm sure all the flora and fauna would also agree.

  12. It might have been birdless but you still got some lovely photos Frank and walked in a very nice area too!

  13. Hi Jan. Plenty of other wildlife and flora to keep the eyes happy at the moment.


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