Wednesday 13 August 2014

Corn Bunting at Shellingford Quarry.

Although the wind blew strongly as its often possible to find sheltered parts I popped down to Shellingford Quarry today Wednesday 13th on the off-chance of finding Dragonflies , Butterflies and look for any Waders that might now be starting to come through. No Waders but a nicely posing Corn Bunting a bird not often seen in this area.
A large number of Red-Eyed Damselflies were active far out on the water and because the wind was so strong it made the camera unsteady resulting in very poor photos. Common Darter were about along with what I think was possibly a now getting on the late side Black-Tailed Skimmer.
Only other birds I saw were about one hundred Mallard bobbing about on the wave crested water stirred up by the high wind, and in a nearby field being cultivated were a lot of Gulls I think they were predominantly Lesser-Black Backed but must admit to only a passing interest as I headed back home.
The Oxon Feather. Addendum - Steve Burch has kindly informed they are Small Red-Eyed Damselflies
                                          Corn Bunting
                                            Common Darter
                                      Small Red-Eyed Damselfly
                                           Small Tortoiseshell
                                           I think Black-Tailed Skimmer
                                           Common Darter
                                          Common Blue
                                           Red-Eyed Damelfly
                                           Bunting in a bush

Wednesday 6 August 2014

There is not as much of Dai these days.

Had a stroll round the big concrete basin that is Farmoor Reservoir, I guess it was around mid afternoon time, so not much about hence the poor photos depicting just Cormorant and Common Blue Butterflies. Would have included Dragonflies if only they would have kept still for a short while. Met that Farmoor stalwart the marvellous Dai John who has been on a fat stripping diet and now cuts a slim rugged shape, in fact I wasn't too sure if I was looking at him or his dog Billy but it soon became apparent which was which by who was in charge - yeah! you guessed it the dog was in charge. Dai was with a mate Dave Daniels another Farmoor regular and like Dai, Dave is always a pleasure to meet. As I walked the causeway back to the car park a piping sound alerted me to a Common Sandpiper , no doubt winging in, to spend the night on the reservoir.
The Oxon Feather.
                                         Cormorant- The fishermans friend. I don't think.
                                         Male Common Blue
  Female Common Blue. below Little Egret one of 4 at Rushey Common Tuesday.                                               

Monday 4 August 2014

Baby Bunting Daddys Gonna Hunting.

Grabbed an hour or so south east of Childrey and photographed this Corn Bunting presumably about to feed its offspring with the insect you can clearly see in its large bill.
Moved on to Seven Barrows where there were a tremendous amount of the pretty Common Blue Butterflies.
The Oxon Feather.

Friday 1 August 2014

Washed Out.

A walk through The Warren close to Gainfield Crossroads Threw up a few Dragonflies but not the Silver-Washed Fritillary my target species that had been prominent on another recent visit there, I have no idea why they were not flying as the conditions seemed ideal. It was good to get Small Copper in compensation as this small Butterfly is always a delight to find, but another trip to photograph Silver-Washed Fritillary is on my agenda and I remain hopeful they will be more compliant, and keep still when they settle, giving a chance of  a half decent photo.
The Oxon Feather.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Land of the Dragon.

Returned from a ten day trip to Wales visiting a brother and sister and of course in-laws and nephews nieces etc although we are not Welsh my sister and brother-in-law have owned a caravan park for the last thirty years at Llangybi situated on top of a mountain not far from Lampeter and make a caravan available for me to stay there for free whenever circumstances allow. Randall who I care for went into the Grange care centre for respite thereby making this all possible. If you wish you can google  Moorlands Caravan Park llangybi to give yourself an idea of what i'm talking about, my sister is Valerie Edwards.
Whenever I get the chance to visit them I spend most of my time on a local nature reserve known as Cors Caron a unique tract of land running to some two thousand acres and consisting of a raised bog and indeed it is known locally as Tregaron Bog and is the home to many Dragonflies including at least three that were new to me this time namely Golden Ringed, Keeled Skimmer and Black Darter. Many other plants and fauna inhabit this unusual environment including Sundew and Sphagnum Moss, while Adders and Lizard are present and the latter I saw on the boardwalk that runs for a very long way getting one into the heart of the bog.
My Niece Karen has married into the farming community so a trip round three other farms was on the agenda with Karen's son Daryl showing me the local natural diversity, the highlight being a large pond in the middle of a marsh that was remote but alive with a great deal of insect life that needed several days of attention as it appeared to be a real natural resource, at least the farmer has told me i'm welcome to visit it whenever i'm in the vicinity. Apart from the usual Red Kites and Buzzards a pair of Ravens and a couple of elusive small birds on the bog that could well have been Reed Warbler.
The Oxon Feather.
                                            Gold-Ringed Dragonfly

                                           Black Darter

                                           Keeled Skimmer

                                           Brother Roy
                                          Sister Val. Below a view across the bog with mountain behind

Tuesday 22 July 2014

The Eyes Have It.

Been to darkest Suffolk  recently on the Richard Lewington course "Identifying Moths, Butterflies and Dragonflies. My accommodation was hostel/like in " Willie Lott's House" a farmhouse that featured in the Constable painting "The Haywain" for our location was Flatford mill.
Richard led a most interesting and informative string of events in his easy going and laid-back style being always helpful but never patronising. We recorded 17 Dragonflies, 23 Butterflies and many Moths. My fellow participants were a pleasant mix of like/minded enthusiasts and a superb time was enjoyed by all.
The Oxon Feather.
                                          Spectacle Moth.
                                          Poplar Hawkmoth. below Willie Lott's House.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

This Drinker is no Piss-Artist.

My outside loo moth trap has turned up a Drinker, named I understand, because its caterpillar is thought by some to drink the dew that accumulates on early morning grasses. It's quite likely without foundation but the name will remain nonetheless.
A few other species also became transfixed by the artificial light and I was rather taken by what I think is an Early Thorn this moth parks itself up just as you would expect a Butterfly to settle.
If you would like to have a guess at the other unnamed moths please help yourself.
The Oxon Feather.
                                           The Drinker
                                           Early Thorn.