Saturday, 4 June 2022

Venus Pool - Lesser Black backed Gull

Gulls normally keep to a respectful distance at Venus Pool and I was quite surprised to see this adult Lesser Black-backed Gull coming into full frame range as it dropped on the nearest island!

It was keeping an eye on a family of Canada Geese with small chicks and despite this take off to 'have a go' remained hungry...

Finally, a shot on the water just before it gave up and flew away from me!

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Shrewsbury - Common Clubtail

An early morning tyre change in Shrewsbury saw me well placed to check out for Common Clubtail emergence in the Quarry Park? After 90 mins of walking the river bank, I eventually found one :-) Sadly it was in a really dodgy spot, on vegetation over the precipitous river bank!

It hopped a bit to the left to give me a head on view...

The distinctly clubbed segments 8/9 and waisted S2 plus markings key this out as a male.

As I risked a soaking and stretched ever so carefully closer to get this!

Then it was gone...

Shrewsbury - Banded Demoiselles

Whilst I saw only saw a single Clubtail, there were dozens of Banded Demoiselles on the wing and this species really takes some beating for their amazing metallic colours!

Even the females!

The males have a distinctive blue-black spot on each wing...

And very obliging too in the close up stakes!

Getting a clean background is often the hardest aspect in photographing them but a couple sat up nicely!

Stunning insects :-)

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Venus Pool - Arctic Tern

After having had distant views of the Mere Terns the previous seek, a refreshing change beckoned at Venus Pool with a rather showy single Arctic Tern...

Clear views of the clear-cut black training edge to the primaries 

Some lovely views of the upperwing whilst banking and no primary wedge as seen in Common. Long streamers to the tail...

Another insect about to be swallowed!

Just two brief rests on terra firma whilst I was there! Note the short legs and blood-red bill...

A nice close pass to end with!

Stunning bird as always!

Monday, 2 May 2022

Venus Pool - Marsh Harrier

There's nothing like a message stating 'Marsh Harrier' to quicken the heartbeat and speed up loading the car. I was very shortly after gazing at the Venus Pool reed bed (far bank) with eyes glued onto where it had dropped in....

And here's the moment it flew out of the reed bed...

Only to be immediately intercepted by a quick response Oystercatcher!! I missed the moment to press the shutter as the Oyk dumped a shower of whitewash on the Harrier whilst they battled it out!

There was a little too and fro as the Harrier cruised over the reed bed once more...

Before turning over the pool, towards the hide! white sky is the most unforgiving of backdrops sadly!

And this fly over left me thinking 'if only'...

It quickly did an 'about turn' and headed east...

Another fine bird found by Dave Chapman, becoming a habit... Checked through the records, my fourth for the Patch

Saturday, 30 April 2022

LLanymynech - Grizzled Skipper

You never quite know with Butterflies.... One day there's not a Grizzled Skipper in sight and then a few days later there are multiples of the wing! Never easy to pin down, Dave Chapman and I made the most of this relative fest? Noting that where the butterfly lands will make or break the shot...

Grass or general clutter - looks messy!

On a flower? Dandelions are abundant at present. A bit out of context with a small butterfly!  but at least they seem to work better than female Orange Tips!

A stone? Yes, looks pretty natural and the combination of shades works well here :-)

Perched on a stem or seed head? Magic, as it throws the clutter into an out of focus backdrop :-) :-)

You can play with different angles?

Or go in a bit closer?

So that's Grizzly sorted then!

Monday, 25 April 2022

Llanymynech - Dingy Skipper etc

I had butterflies on my mind today. The cold easterly wind continues to blow however and scupper thoughts of butterflies by the dozen. It was hard work with cloud cover for most of my available time there but one of my 'targets' was achieved - Dingy Skipper!

I suppose one bonus of the low temperature is their relative inactivity!

I'd seen a couple of Small Copper on my travels but one sitting had eluded me...

It's been a super year for Orange Tips, usually as ever 'flying through' at least this one stopped!

On the walk back to the car a male Leucozona lucorum hoverfly

Where's a Grizzly when you need one! Oh well, next time...

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Long Mynd - Dotterel

A great find by Mike Stokes, a male Dotterel on the 'Mynd a little earlier than the traditional 1st May! And everything conspired for me almost not to see it! 

First off off was getting stuck in the 'Bike for Life' argie bargie and the traffic was completely jammed near the Park & Ride for at least 20 mins... The I arrived only for Mike and Damo (who were driving off) to tell me it had been pushed out of view :-( 

Cue a team up with Dave Chapman and Rob Dowley and after 30 mins or so of searching, we were on it :-)

It spent quite a bit of time hunkered down, nervous with a Red Kite quartering the general area...

But eventually it was best foot forward!

Plus an over the shoulder pose or two...

I'm still aching after stretching out to get a low perspective capture!

Still ever alert!

And perhaps my favourite image was this feather ruffle!

Not the most pristine of Dots (where's a female when you need one!)  but better than nowt!