Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mixed Bag

Wonderful weather continues. I have been out and about as much as I have been able. The price of Petrol is seriously affecting the distance I can travel so most of my photography is done within a five mile radius of my home now.
 I want to start this blog with a picture not taken by me. Its a picture of a Kestrel that my brother, Alan, got with his Fuji finepix from his bedroom window. Its a pic of the Kestrel with a kill, a kill that it had taken off my brothers feeders. I cannot recall ever having heard of Kestrels doing this. Do any of you have any experiences of it?

Its a stunning shot though. Alan is getting in to his photography and with shots like this I better watch my back. Well done Bro.

I have a Kestrel of my own to show too, taken at the spot where I get my Barn Owl, which is proving to be very elusive at the moment. only showing one night in the last 5. Here's the Kestrel.

and here's another of the Barn Owl.

Managed one trip out this week, to Hergest Ridge near Kington, either last year or the year before Chris G and I had been up there chasing Dotterel which we never found, but we did see two Cuckoo very close. You'll no doubt remember that post! Well this time it was a complete washout. I saw only a handful of Skylark, less than 6 Meadow Pipit, no Linnet, no Wheatear. only 2 Yellowhammer, and one Common Redstart. an appalling amount compared to the trip with Chris. Why? I hear you ask. well the difference this time was Gorse. When Chris and I went there was a large amount of gorse on the hill side. This time there was very little. It appears that the farmer who owns the land has been out with his shears and removed about two thirds of it to allow sheep more grazing. A lady I met on the hill was happy to give me that information and her opinion on the decline in the bird life since he did it. I had to agree.

Anyway, less of that. I called at Shobdon on my way there, again an area that Chris and I had been to in the past. The only thing I saw there was this Wheatear.

Back in Herefordshire and bug hunting. I am really in to it now. Its amazing how much creepy crawlie stuff there is out there if you look for it. I was amazed to find a bug that according to my Collins Gem book shouldn't be found in this country. However further research on t'interweb, informed me that it is now found in this country largely in the south east. Its called a Nezara Viridula. (Further contact with a Mr Salisbury of the Royal Horticultural society since this post, has shown it not to be a NV, rather it is a nymph of our common Forest bug) (amended 30/5).

I also found a couple of species that I had never seen before.

Phyllobius pomaceus.

and a Pea Weevil.

I also managed to get a couple of shots of a Click Beetle, I believe this variety is the Athous Haemorrhoidalis, I used to think they were a pain in the a**e.

all in all a nice bit of stuff. Looks like the weather is going to be fine for a while, I'm off to Devon with Mike Smith for the weekend, we're going to Chris's place.
Click pics for larger Images.