Week 26 of the year, week 13 of the Lockdown with things still slowly being lifted but the big changes will come on the 4th of July when the Pubs, Restaurants etc will be opening and people once again coming closer together.
Out again the and out to lockdown site No2 for more Dragonflies. My first find on site were Common Green Grasshoppers, so a nice little macro shot of that. Nearer to the ponds I came across Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Heath and Large White Butterflies.
On the ponds were Broad Bodied Chaser, Emperor dragonfly and finally a Four Spotted Chaser put it was around the edges on the vegetation I was more interested in with all the Damselflies settling now and again, a great macro opportunity of Common Blue, Blue tailed, Azure and Large Red Damselflies
Other highlights around the ponds were Cinnabar Moth and Cinnabar Moth Catapillars, Latticed Heath Moth and a Tipula lateralis Cranefly
More Photos can be seen at my Flickr site HERE
Common Blue Damselflies
Week 25 of the year and week 12 of the Lockdown, still furloughed, so with sun shining I decided on a all but brief visit out to one of my lockdown sites for a look around for Common Blue Butterflies.
There were a few of the common butterflies around (Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell) and now Ringlet and Meadow Browns were being prominent but alas no Common Blue
Moths around were a few Silver Y Moths, Narrow bordered Five Spotted Burnet Moth, Latticed Heath and a nice find was a Yarrow Plume Moth
Yarrow Plume Moth
I now find myself furloughed for a three week stint, thank you Covid-19. Restrictions continue to slowly ease but with no news of restrictions for the vulnerable, life carries on in a difficult format.
Sun was shining, vitamin D was calling and so was my well being, so a local walk where I knew I wouldn’t come across anyone.
My first stop was near a cluster of daisies were I saw my first Meadow Brown of the year along with Large Skipper, a seven spot ladybird larvae was a nice find also. Moving on I came across an area of bramble where I found more Meadow Brown and Large Skipper with as very brief view of a Common Blue.
Walking thru the wood I came across a Large Red Damselfly before I finally reached my target area where I was hoping for larger dragonflies.
On approaching the first pond I could see a couple of large dragonflies on settling in I found a singles of Emperor and a Male Broad Bodied Chaser.
Looking around the other ponds I came across more Emperors, Broad Bodied Chaser and also a single and all but brief view of a Four Spotted Chaser which was seen off by an Emperor
View a Video of my day at the Ponds HERE
Broad Bodied Chaser ♂
We carry on in lockdown with the news this week that the vulnerable people can now visit a family member elsewhere but at a social distance, I myself enter my 12th week of isolation.
I was back at the lockdown reserve where I knew I wouldn’t come across anybody hoping this time to come across the Common Blue Butterfly, my hopes were to be dashed when the rain soon set in. I did however manage a couple of flower macros along with bees and hoverflies before I left the site in a brighter moment of sunshine.
I headed back home but decided on stopping off at a local viewpoint, the weather had now brighted up closer to home but the wind was still a concern. On entering the site I was a bit dismayed, the long grass had been cut this was a first for me on this site. I was here now so I had a look round and picked up a couple of Small Heath Butterflies, which after disturbing them soon went to ground in the grass keeping out of the wind. I found a part of the site which had been left uncut, mainly due to its passion I think, it was also catching the sun along here too. I spent a while down this ride picking up a couple of Common Carpet Moths… hoverflies inc. Helophilus trivittatus, Episyrphus balteatus (Marmalde Hoverfly) and Rhingia campestris
Lockdown continues but the relaxing of certain restrictions seeks to have gone to some peoples heads, second peak! I think so.
Back to the isolation site and back to nature always great for well being, butterflies again proving difficult with less than a handful of species to boot, Dingy Skipper, Small Heath, Small White and a single Large Skipper a first for the year.
Other highlights were Mother Shipton Moth and Hairy Shieldbugs.
The lockdown continues the sun still shines, so it was out again to my isolation reserve.
The butterflies weren’t playing today hard to find and not settling, the ones I found were Dingy Skipper (now showing signs of wear), Orange Tip, a single Peacock, Small Heath today were in abundance.
Was hoping for Common Blue and maybe a Brown Argus but still not showing
Small Heath Butterfly
The sun still shines lockdown carries on and I’m grateful for a little site that I can go to where nobody seems to go to keep my well being good, with insects and photography.
There was good numbers of butterflies about especially Small Heath and Brimstone neither settling, Dingy Skipper once again proving difficult to find, finally managing to get a few shots with one that was a bit more settled, also managed to finally pin down Orange tip, Green veined White, Small White with an added bonus of a Mother Shipton Moth all on the same flowers, two Peacocks were seen along the track also.
Hairy Shieldbugs were still around mainly on the old dandelion heads, and birds around today were Whitethroat, Willow Warblers, Yellowhammer, Goldfinch and Song Thrush
Mother Shipton Moth
With restrictions being lifted slightly now in the UK I ventured out to a local spot, which I knew there would only be me there, so still giving me that isolation that I need, door to door no contact with humans.
Arrived away 9am with sunny spells and a little wind, no butterflies in flight when I arrived so I turned to a few macro shots with the flowers. I found a few subjects to shoot, Daisy’s, Cones and Goats Beard ( see below)
Wasn’t long before I started finding Hairy Shieldbug which I always turn my camera towards, love them. It was finally the turn of the butterflies, they were now on the wing Small Heaths, Orange tips were easy to pick up along with Green veined White, the hoped for Dingy Skippers took some finding but I did finally manage to find two.
Other creature highlights was a single Swollen thighed Beetle along with Oedemera lurida Beetles and a new found for me a Empis tessellata Dagger Fly
Bird highlights were Common Buzzard, Garden Warbler, and Willow Warblers.
A great day out in isolation
Well eight week in now and the easing of the lockdown stated this week with people returning to work, those mainly that can’t work from home, you can also see one other member of your family from a different household but the social distancing still applies, as many times out during the day now but keeping the social distancing of course and you can also travel to your destination, vulnerable and extremely vulnerable remain in isolation.
I’ve turned my attention to macro photography and trying to get used to flash in doing so. The subjects are mainly flowers from the garden and any critters that do come along.
Due to the nice weather we’ve been having off late I’ve seen from the house Common Buzzards going thru, along with Sparrowhawk. The House Sparrows are growing in number, had upto five Woodpigeon in the garden.
Spiders have also taken my attention with a few species ID around the garden mainly Zebra Spiders, Spotted Wolf and Walnut Orb Weavers
It started at week 18 life changed due to Covid 19, it was thrown upside down, restrictions were put in place never seen before in my lifetime, and were to prove difficult. Not seeing family hurts, not been able to visit beloved sites for nature did also, had to improvise for my well being.
I have managed to have been set up so that I can work from home which has been a great support for me at this time.
I turned to the garden for my adventures, not a large garden and I’m no where near a gardener, it’s the last thing on my list.
I started hunting finding a Hairy Shieldbug along with a Small White Caterpillar these became my companions for the first fews weeks giving me light relief, I ended up taking lots of photos, the odd hoverfly came in resting on the dandelions I was cultivating, Sphaerophoria scripta was a great one to see.
I’ve also set up my feeders again, this was stopped due to the local population of cats before but being at home I could now police this a bit better, hopefully. House Sparrows and Woodpigeon soon moved in, taking longer for Blue Tit, Coal Tit, and Starling and Blackbirds have been taking full advantage of the lawn. The local Swift Population returned at the beginning of May with up to Eight birds happily screaming around the houses.