I was keen to connect with Purple Hairstreak, and Jase wanted to get a nice male Ruddy Darter image. It was a most enjoyable few hours, and whilst I struck out on connecting with a Purple Hairstreak there were 3 particular highlights. Firstly, spotting a new moth, that with some vegetative management by myself and nifty camera work by JK, a record shot was secured for identification later.It turned out to be a Brown China mark moth. This is actually a night flying moth that lives near water, and it's larvae are actually aquatic.
The second highlight for me was spending a little time trying to capture an image of the copulating Emerald Damselflies, whilst JK chased Ruddy Darters.
|Mating Wheel..Emerald Damselflies|
The third and most pleasing highlight was seeing an Adult and juvenile Marsh Tit, not just because it was an overdue year first, but also because it showed successful breeding by a species that seems to be going backwards in the County.
On Sunday I fancied a walk, and for some reason fancied a river walk. The only target I had pencilled in was trying to see and photograph White-legged damselfly, having seen plenty of tenerals a few weeks earlier, I was worried I would be to late to enjoy the adult form. I headed to Blackstone for 10.30.
It wasn't a promising start, breezy and cloudy. There were plenty of gatekeepers about, and well a decent numbers of Essex and small Skipper. I decided to spend some time enjoying the photography.
|Essex Skipper Blackstone|
Just as it Started to rain, I came across the one and only White-legged Damselfly I was to encounter during the 3 hours I was there. Thankfully, after much faffing, I got a record shot. After the rain cleared, I enjoyed a few more skippers, including a single large. The lack of Common Blue Butterflies was a worry.
Bird wise both Greater Spot and Green Woodpecker were active. As I doubled back I spotted some eggs on a leaf. I was unsure what had laid them, and searched my butterfly book when I got home. Unable to pair them off, I remembered a caterpillar I had seen near the site a few weeks ago, and after a bit of research found they seemed a good match for Drinker Moth eggs.
|Drinker Moth Eggs..I need to see the adult moth now !!|
On returning to the car, I stopped to enjoy a view of the river. I notice a diving bird in the distance, which turned and gradually swam down river towards me. It was a Goosander, a nice way to end my Sunday walk.
|Goosander . Adult male eclipse|
Further images available on my Flickr page