Archive for August, 2016

30
Aug
16

Humpback Days

It was just not possible to be disappointed given our experiences in the Bay of Fundy despite not seeing what we went there to see.

Northern Right Whales are among the rarest animals on the planet; with only some 350 alive finding one was always going to be difficult. It was a long shot and despite spending over 27 hours at sea over six days we didn’t have even have a sniff of one. Global warming has made differences of late. Water temperature increases mean the plankton on which the Northern Rights feed is no longer in abundance within the bay and the whales are having to find sustenance elsewhere… I can feel another trip coming on.

In the meantime here are some photos of a few of the many humpbacks we saw. Further insights into what else we saw I’ll let you know of over the next week or so.

Humpback 1 Humpback 2 Humpback 3 Humpback 4 Humpback 5 Humpback 6 Humpback 7Humpback Whale 8

28
Aug
16

The ultimate photo-bomb

Wilson’s Petrel with Humpback Whale. Taken off Grand Manan in Canada earlier in the month.

Wilsons Petrel and Humpback Whale

26
Aug
16

Aberrations

One of my guests on the butterfly tour last month brought this Chalkhill Blue butterfly to my attention. It’s unusually coloured. It’s an aberration, a freak, a variation that nature sometimes throws into the pot. I was curious what the Butterfly County recorder, Andy Brazil,  would make of it. Here’s what he said:

Chalkhill’s have historically had a lot of variations recorded, but we’ve not had any from Norfolk before.

There’s a similar aberration here http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/phpBB/gallery/image_page.php?album_id=271&image_id=11243 named as post-obsoleta, but this female also has a paler, washed-out ground colour of ab pallidulla. I’ve looked through this list http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/aberrations.php?species=coridon but nothing quite matches the combination. So I’d say it was ab. post-obsoleta ab.pallidulla so two aberrations on the same insect!

So there you go. Another first for Norfolk!

Chalkhill Blue (Aberrant)

24
Aug
16

Charming little chaps

I counted nine at the peak on the local reservoir. An easterly element in the wind and a passage of Common Sandpipers filled the air with the rapid staccato of swee swee swee swee swuu’s. Charming little chaps.

Common Sandpiper

 

24
Aug
16

Photography – Norfolk and Beyond

From today for the next two weeks a selection of my photographs are on display and are for sale at Cley Marshes NWT – I hope to see you there. 

  

22
Aug
16

Bronze serpent

A chance encounter with a slow worm on a couple of tours the other day was appreciated by all concerned. This legless lizard although harmless is quite beautiful. A bronze serpent.

Slow Worm

20
Aug
16

When is a hoverfly not a hoverfly

This Volucella Zonaria pushed it’s nose in front of us during a recent tour. A Hornet mimic it does quite a good job for our largest hoverfly!

Volucella Zonaria

18
Aug
16

A Welcome Home

Having spent the last fortnight in Nova Scotia it’s nice to come home; especially when there’s a welcome.

Even as the Red Arrows put on a spectacle in the sky I found myself struggling to find Andy’s Icterine that he saw here on the hill. It had obviously moved on. I made my way towards home only to find this little chap on the hedgerows. A welcome Wryneck.

Wryneck 1Wryneck 2Red Arrows

 

 

16
Aug
16

Valezina

On the Butterfly day this year we managed 24 species along the Norfolk coast; and we missed some obvious ones. As we waited for insects to descend into the sunshine draped blackberry bush a Valezina arrived. This is a washed out silver form of the female Silver Washed Fritillary with a rainbow thorax. When I say it arrived; I mean it did everything but slap us in the face. I was surprised. I’ve never heard of one being seen at this site before and to have one land just inches from us was quite a delight… for us all.

Silver Washed Fritillary (Valezina)1 Silver Washed Fritillary (Valezina)2

14
Aug
16

Keeling Over

This year has been the best I can remember in Norfolk for Keeled Skimmer.

Keeled Skimmer




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