Tuesday, 21 September 2010

the Garden and a very special return!

Another of my "garden catchups" with some very special news. Back in the day (5 years ago) my mum used to have a clematis at the bottom of the garden and every year it would pick up one or two broom moth caterpillars and I loved seeing them, not only because they gave me a sense of satisfaction in being able to i.d. them positively curtisy of I-spy, but they are also stunning creatures and that alone was one of the reasons why I was sad to hear that our
next-door-neighbour had cut down the clemitis, which was their food plant!

Alas, I had 5 broom moth free years, when there was also a decided lack of any caterpillars! however, the winds of change are heralding and about a week ago, my mum called me to say that there were some caterpillars feeding on her sweet peas. You can image how pleased I was to find out that they were brooms! I am slightly worried, becuase this is rather late in the season. As before they were feeding in about july not september! Even so it was still a pleasure to catch up with this stunning and iconic caterpillar.

And they were not camera shy, thye barely moved at all, which helps a great deal whilst trying to get some record shots...

That weekend there was more good garden news with a new garden butterfly tick-speckled wood. It was really a forthcoming even, seeing as though they are everywhere at the minuet. It would have been bad luck to not to pick one up but even so its just great to see one, on home turf.
It rested on the garage wall for quite some time before I spooked it trying to remove an offending leaf from my photo screen. it was still great to see!

mothing-end of august

the top three are large yellow underwings and the bottom one is a dark arches

some bike conference about two sundays ago

this I really did not want to go to! my dad owns a bike shop, he is self employed, and so He had to go to a Giant (his suppliers) bike conference in a hotel near a golf course in Birmingham. I was constantly told, There will be lots of grounds, but in reality there was very little space that could be of any decency. However behind a clump of trees I managed to find a small area of untainted scrubby woodland where there were lots of tits and robins and dunnock etc.

Insect wise there was a comma feeding on some berries in the sun

and a pair of speckled woods having a kung-fu fight, or at least one of them was...

on the actually course, besides crabby golfers, there was only a magpie taunting me. Eventually I couldn't be bothered playing its stupid hop and hide game so I shot it in mid hop, It didn't work out as well as I Had hoped but I'm still getting closer to that shot.

also a hoverfly

A thoroughly wasted day!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

a week ago on wednesday at burnsal bridge

Okay, so this was quite a long time ago but my brother has been hogging the computer since and seeing as though he is currently out I can catch up with all that i have fallen behind with! so the only thing that actually needs posting is the fact that a week ago on Wednesday we went to Burnsal Bridge again for the second time this summer. And this time I brought a real glass fish tank and not the crummy plastic one!

still, first things first! we went for a walk. The first bird I saw was a collard dove which I took a photo of because it was perched so conveniently on a branch.

Since I had caught up with all the other sites specialities last time I was secretly hoping for a kingfisher today. I spotted another of the locals first with a female mandarin duck.

It was whilst I was photographing this that my brother came and told me that my family had found a kingfisher. I went back to try and get some photos. Surprise, surprise! it was on the wrong side of the river leaving me with small blue specs instead of kingfishers in my pictures.

I chased it all morning, up and down the same stretch of river, but id just didn't look like it was going to come to my side of the river for a photo. Look at the photo below and you would see that not coming to my side of the river was a very silly thing to do if your a kingfisher and to be far there were plenty of conveniently placed perches for it.

Then, whilst taking the above photo, It did! It came to my side of the river, about 5m to my left. Perhaps it was my sudden movement of surprise but either way the bird stayed there less than 1 minuet so I got what I got. luckily, for my camera, that ain't bad!

The photo below shows it belting off up river after that...

I continued to follow it but it decided that it wasn't going to give me a second chance but I followed it anyway, after kingfishers are arguably Britain's most stunning bird. I managed to gather quite a few crowds to view the bird and, as I was following it, Many people left feeling pretty pleased with themselves!
After lunch Me and my brother went fishing in our traditional Burnsal pastime. In order to not crack the fish tank, this time we kept the fish in the plastic fish tank and then brought it over to the glass tank to take the photos. see below the equipment that we used for the photos

We managed to bring in quite a haul of fish and I managed to get some great photos if I do say so myself!

Minnows with a bullhead. This time we managed to catch one of the big minnows that evaded us last time!

The minnows. The bottom photo is my favourite.

The bullheads.
There was a decided lack of large loaches in the river and the one we found seemed to be badly damaged. We caught two small ones but they were happy with their new home and as a result did not come to the front but stayed within the murk of the middle where the camera couldn't reach.
After this my mum and dad said they were going to stick around and as a result me and my brother decided to try and catch a crayfish for the tank as there was also a lack of them and a photo of them in the water is something that Had evaded me!
After about rock twenty we caught a real beauty which obediently allowed himself to be caught. sadly though he was less obedient when it came to photos as he would not stay still. I suppose though that he did have perfect reason and right to be scared but the less he moved, the sooner he would be out. eventually I managed to get a few that we acceptable

As you can see this was quite a day and well worth it!

some more garden gems!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

bank holiday monday at wycolle (or spelt similar)

a day at somewhere local where there weren't any people was my dads description of a suitable place to go today. we settled on wycolle which is a quintessential village settle nicely in a river valley, surrounded by woods except as soon as you leave the river banks you are in the vast expanse of the west Yorkshire moors.

At first we decided to go to the cafe for something to drink and I was in luck because this cafe sold IRN BRU which is a great relief as not many people do! Then a young robin, or possibly a robin just out of moult, came and joined us. it actually came and sat on the table whilst we were still there. Here it is eating some crumbs from my mums scone.

a walk up the river produced very little except for a few grey wagtails and mallards in the duck pond. after that we went onto the surrounding Fields and moors, and since it was so sunny we decided to sit and relax by this tree which was situated in brilliant photographic scenery!
Whilst my family relaxed I went grasshopper hunting and found yet more rufous grasshoppers. I was right about being able to identify them by their call and I managed to prove it today which I was thrilled about!
I didn't take any photos of rufous but some of what are probably normal Field grasshoppers.

My dad says that we are quite likely to return here earlier in the season which will hopefully be much more productive in the way of bird life!