Sunday, 28 August 2016

26th August, 2016 Lapwing - up close and personal

I rarely go to Attenborough NR without a trip to the Sand Martin hide.  Just recently Lapwings have taken to sitting on the shingle in front of the hide and on Friday just gone a few were close - really close.

This one bird was posing nicely and the marks around the eye makes it look like it's wearing false eyelashes, so I assume it's a girl.


Anisoptera and Zygoptera - otherwise known as Dragonflies and Damselflies

It's not been all about Hoverflies in the summer break and I've had one or two nice opportunities to photograph these beautiful insects

Female Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagama cyathigerum)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

August 12th, 2016 Little Egret - a decent shot at last

So it's egret season down at Attenborough Nature Reserve and I keep getting tantalizingly close views of Little Egret but never quite pulling off what I would call a decent photo.

After not seeing much on the reserve, I decide to take a walk along the wet marsh path.  I get to the first viewing screen and boom!  There's a Little Egret right in front of the screen - just about as close as I've seen a bird on the reserve.  

It's at this point that I realise just how un-photogenic Little Egrets can be, if you don't catch them just right.  After taking a multitude of wading in the water shots, I get one just as the bird takes flight. Yes, the light could have been a bit better, but I'm happy with it.

Little Egret

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Hoverfly Frenzy

You know how it is... it's mid summer and the bird have gone quiet.  I normally pursue the local lepidoptera and odonata and decided this year that I need a new challenge.  I'm still not quite sure why, but I opted to have a go at hoverflies (Syrphidae) and I've not looked back.

The in built zoom of my Panasonic FZ100 seems completely suitable to snapping these remarkable insects.  Here's my efforts to date.

Myathropa florea

Possibly the most wasp-like hoverfly, this is the first species that I identified.  The one in the photo was just in my garden on 8th August.  I can now do these with the naked eye and seems to be one of the most abundant species in the area.

Episyrphus balteatus

Another common species, this was at the same spot as the M florea.  Quite variable I've found but again, easily identified with the naked eye.

Eristalis intracarius

Not a brilliant photo, but it's the only one I've got.  This fuzzy little guy was the third species that I identified.

Chrysotoxum festivum

Chrysotoxum festivum

This colourful insect was quite a decent find, apparently.  I'm quite pleased with the head on shot, above.

Below are three rather similar species but all readily identifiable given the right views of their diagnostic features.

Eristalis arbustorum

Eristalis nemorum

Eristalis pertinax

Another similar but different pair, below.

Herophilus hybridus

This insect was one of two noted at Attenborough NR, where they are common in the summer.  I'm hoping to get a closer shot of one of these, at some point.

Herophilus pendulus

This was at Rutland Water during the Bird Fair.  I was going to concentrate on birds, but my valve blew and I had to go look for some hovers!

Not all hoverflies can be certainly identified.  A couple of examples, below

Spaerophoria sp.

This one was seen on a lunch time walk at Lenton.

Syrphus sp.

Another one from my first few days of studying hoverflies, on my local patch in Beechdale, Nottingham.

Xanthogramma pedisequum

The latest addition to my list, noted at Attenborough NR on 26th August.