Monday, 26 July 2010

Adder Success

For a month or two now I have been visiting Allerthorpe Common hoping to see an Adder.  I suppose I have relied more on optimism than studying the best time and weather and as a result have not seen any. 

Visiting today we arrived to find quite a few Gatekeepers and a few dragonflies.


As the sun disappeared so did they. 

There were plenty of Common Green grasshoppers.

And a Silver Y moth alerted us to its presence with lots of wing flapping

The pretty bell shaped flowers of the Cross-leaved heath added colour to the landscape.

Moving on we saw what had evaded us on previous visits - an Adder

Success at last.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Pyrausta ??

Sitting in the garden I saw a very colourful moth. Unusually it even waited for me to put a cappuccino down and go for my macro lens.

Looking online it would appear to be a Pyrausta but is it aurata or purpuralis?

Studying the photos on the web I am inclined to think it is aurata but it has more gold than the photo I have found which I understand purpuralis has but then it has less than the photos I have seen of that. Any help with the id would be appreciated as I have only recently started exploring the world of moths.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Blue Butterfly

With it being such a beautiful day I combined a walk on to the post box with a wander in the fields around the village. There were plenty of butterflies but they were all very active. I saw a small bright blue one of a type I have not seen before. It would only stay stationary for a few seconds and as I only had a Fuji "bridge" camera with me (it is always a mistake to go on a walk without one of my Nikons!),  getting a photo was difficult but I managed the ones below.

Looking through my copy of "The Butterflies of Yorkshire" ( available from The Yorkshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation ) I think it is a Holly Blue.

I would be very interested to have my identification confirmed (or corrected).

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Summer at the canal

A sunny day meant a trip to the Post Office was extended to include a walk along the canal. Time was short so we went to the closest but also the busiest stretch. The car park was however nearly empty - perhaps the overcast morning had kept people at home. As we started our walk the sun decided to join us and we appreciated its company.

The lack of visitors meant the resident ducks were hungry and some ducklings left the water hoping for an easy meal.

They would however have to find their own lunch as I had left my packet of duck food at home. 

There was no sign of the cygnets seen on a previous visit but they may have moved to an overgrown stretch with water at a more preferred depth as the level in stretch they had been in was very low.

There was plenty of activity from damselflies (Common Blue, Azure and Banded Demoiselle) but they did a good job of avoiding the camera as they darted about.

Wild flowers proved easier to photograph (although there was a breeze building that tended to move them just as the shutter was pressed).

There was plenty of Meadowsweet and Rosebay willowherb.

With all the wild flowers it was no surprise to see plenty of butterflies but catching them on camera was another matter. A few did however pause long enough for a photo.

 Speckled Wood

Meadow Brown

Large Skipper

There were also lots of Ringlets.

We stopped at a bench for a drink in an area popular with Reed warblers and sure enough we could hear them in the reeds. They kept low down and most were hidden although we could see the movement of the reeds as they hopped from one to another. We did however manage to see a few.

Heading for home we walked back up the canal leaving the call of the Reed warblers behind and passing areas of active butterflies and damselflies. Roach slowly moved near the surface of the water and Pike watched them from deeper down. 

These are the sights and sounds of the canal in summer.