Archive for the 'Butterflies' Category

30
Dec
18

2018 – the best bits

2018 for me set off being a somewhat muted year but rapidly escalated into something as special as it gets. Finding someone special to share my life was a revelation that I didn’t expect. The downside of that is a whole planet separates us. 2019 will be spent putting that right.

One discovery for me in 2018 has been the state of Victoria in Australia. The pull of this part of such a remote continent has been extreme. It’s undulating landscape, amiable weather, compelling wildlife and of course one special inhabitant have made this the most special place I’ve ever been. Australia is just the best. My two months here within 2018 have been the most outstanding part of my personal year. Within that two months Tania has taken me to some fabulous places. Mountains, remote bushland, deep dark eucalypt forests, small islands and open wide beaches. However, one place stands out in my mind as it holds birds that have been a part of my life for so long in the UK. Rare birds. Birds that blew to the UK as waifs and strays. Birds such as Red necked Stints and Sharp tailed Sandpipers. In Victoria, Werribee has a water treatment plant holding these birds in mind boggling numbers. Numbers I could only have dreamed about. Who would have thought a sewage plant would have topped my years best bits… but it has. It even topped the Beluga in the Thames!

But what of my professional year. There have been some great times. Scilly once again was terrific, so was Wales, the Farnes were at their best and the Scottish tours were formidable. Picking the best? … well that’s easy. The 2018 Mammal Tour of the UK. Without doubt the best tour I’ve ever done. Some fabulous wildlife; Minke Whales and Dolphins of three species you could have touched. Red Squirrels, Pine Martens and Badgers at arms length. However, to single out one moment of the tour I would have to go to a small beach at the fishing port of Wick on the Scottish East coast. Reading books from being a child through to adulthood enables everyone to conjure up dreams. Bucket lists. Events to experience. Things to see, places to go. I crossed off number one on my own bucket list on that small beach last May. My guests and I experienced the sight of a Walrus in British waters. OK it’s not the cuddliest looking animal you’ll ever come across. But hell … what an animal!

Roll on 2019. Happy New Year.

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03
Sep
18

Streaking Again

I found myself in Gilbert White’s patch a few weeks ago. The 18th Century naturalist was a pioneer in natural history. I thought I’d retrace his steps and have another go at Brown Hairstreak before the season ended. Walking on the dew laden heath I was trying to find an optimum spot for a phone signal when a hairstreak shot by me at break-neck speed. I chased it but it disappeared into impenetrable blackthorn. A spotted flycatcher sallied down and caught something but I’m not completely sure it was ‘my’ butterfly. It took me a further two hours to find another. Eventually I managed to get close enough for a half decent shot but it evaporated before I could get the underwing. Difficult subject this species. Ah well! Maybe next year.

15
Aug
18

Nothing but a streak

You might be forgiven for thinking a Brown Hairstreak is an unsightly slight soiling of underwear. However you’d be wrong. It’s a butterfly. Correction. It’s an elusive butterfly. Living almost the entirety of its life in tall Ash trees feeding on the sweet sap excreted by aphids they are hard to find; and I mean really hard to find. A good deal of patience is required to see them, let alone photograph them. I managed this shot of one in flight the other week. It’s better to wait until a little later in the season until females come down lower to lay eggs; but I guess I’m just impatient.

19
Jul
18

Dragons and Butterflies

It’s always difficult to be sure that the weather will be suitable for insects when I book a tour so far in advance. However pick the right time, the right place and even a little sunshine will bring benefits. This years day tour for Norfolk Hawkers and Swallowtails went well with good views of both species being obtained.

08
Jul
18

Splitting hairs

The White letter Hairstreaks were playing their usual tree top escapades the other day. A couple eventually came a little lower to avail themselves to the camera.

 

25
Jun
18

In search of Butterflies

The search for Wood Whites and Black Hairstreaks took us into Northamptonshire on tour this weekend. As well as the target species there was the odd surprise too!

 

28
Feb
18

Australian Round-up

If you fancy taking a break from the winter weather we’re experiencing here in the UK you can pay a visit to the ‘latest’ section of the Wildcatch Photography site. A number of photos from my recent Australian trip have been posted. They are sure to warm you through as you sip your hot chocolate. I hope you enjoy them. http://wildcatchphotography.zenfolio.com/p34814967




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