Friday, June 29, 2007

ready to go

this year's brood of martins is almost ready to go. Their parents have been finding it difficult to hunt in the rain and the wind, but are very busy now making up for the loss of food, hence the Oliver Twist impressions.

Friday, June 22, 2007

nemorosa incognito

At last the sun has returned. This afternoon like butterflies we went out and warmed our metaphorical wings. There were hundreds of marbled white and meadow brown butterflies in the meadows today. Underfoot the meadows are full of summer flora, including the minute but pretty eyebright. There are at least 19 overlapping species of eyebright and apparently (according to Marjory Blamey and Richard Fitter) experts demand at least 6 specimens before identifying them. The non expert can only make intelligent guesses .... this is clearly a major challenge.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


If you are wondering why there haven't been any pictures for a few days it is because it hasn't stopped raining. We can't even get out of the Terranosaur without getting soaked. As a result there has been nothing to photograph, except a dessicated little bat found by Jane Parry Davies in the glass of water she keeps by her bed. It is not clear to any of us how the bat got into the water, but it certainly doesn't look like it drowned. It may be a wandering pipistrelle from the belfry across the street, or it fell in from a beam. It's not even an old bat. They have the most amazing little hind feet, with five sharp little toes. Since when have we had a monsoon in June? It reminds me of the summers we used to have in Plymouth in the 1950's (until 1959 when drought struck and we all had to share a bath (3 boys one after the other; of such experiences are our formative days made). I don't recall any drowned bats though.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

slender St John's wort

one of the many species of St John's wort, again to be found in Penny's piece. The ecology of this little patch of rough grass is very different from everything else around.

marbled white, Luckett

One of the first marbled whites of the year, in Penny's piece near Luckett.

greater spotted woodpecker

an occasional visitor to our garden, this time with a mate (not shown but busy burrowing into the next apple tree trunk).

Friday, June 15, 2007

out of the nest

and into the firing line, a juvenile blackbird looking rather stunned and lost.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

butterfly meadow, Cornwall

lesser butterfly orchid on left, greater butterfly orchid on right (see earlier pages and below for differences). The meadows are now full of cat's ear and rattle.

the middle picture is lesser butterfly orchid, and the bottom picture is the greater butterfly orchid.

dipper on Tamar

dippers are difficult to capture in flight because they are quick and direct. Just for once everything worked out for this photo, with the dark watery background for contrast. There is a nest very near to where this picture was taken so the parents were flying backwards (so to speak) and forwards.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Kit Hill quarry

It was a very still day.

And please note you can get a guided tour to see the heath fritillary in June (16/06) (see previous post with excellent pictures)

Kit Hill early bird

I think this is a pipit, but I am not sure which type (tree or meadow), or it could be a lark. As it chose to pose on a tree above the misty Sherwell Valley and it is singing its heart out I think it must be a tree pipit.

cornwall lanes No 329

the foxgloves seem very early this year, and provide a natural counter balance to Kit Hill

Monday, June 04, 2007

cassie cornwall

Spot feels that there haven't been enough dog photos recently, so here is one of Cassie after a hard day at work watching rabbits, eating and barking, plus two walks and a bit of retrieving on the side. He would also like to remind all his ardent fans that it is his second birthday tomorrow and he is expecting BIG presents which is the real reason why Cassie is looking exhausted.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


and this very pretty speedwell (brooklime) is in flower again.

more trouble

and these young jackdaws are just looking about to cause some mischief

more food please

and this young rook is, no doubt, asking why its mouth isn't stuffed full of newts and tadpoles

more pond life

a newt and some tadpoles close to maturing into frogs in the deep muddy muddles on the tracks near Old Mill. I don't know what type of newt it is, there are some dark skinned ones and these very pale examples.

Friday, June 01, 2007

heath fritillary

yes, they're back. The reintroduction has obviously worked, and there were several flying about as the sun came out. Now is the time to go to Greenscoombe woods (see the link to Cornwall wildlife trust) if you want to see heath fritillaries.


I spotted this attractive little bird zooming past today. It is a dipper, and conveniently stopped to pose before wading into the Tamar