Saturday, March 31, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
a chiffchaff (based definitively on its monotonous song!). I think this one is local and has spent the winter here rather than around the mediterranean (bad choice in my mind). The lane is now suddenly full of speckled wood butterflies. There are two male varieties apparently, a docile type with 4 spots on the hindwing, which sits around sunbathing, and this type with three wing spots on the hindwing, which spends all its time chasing off rivals up and down the lane .
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Bluebells normally flower in April and May around here so it is surprising to find this solitary specimen in flower. It looks like the spanish variety that is slowly spreading and hybridising with its less vigorous cousin our native bluebell. There are hundreds of plants developing nearby but none are anywhere near flowering.
And a peacock basking in the unfamiliar warmth of the March sun, staying still long enough to be captured on camera
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Sea campion is a close relative of red campion and has the same pattern of five deeply divided petals.
Dogviolets are hardy plants that will grow almost anywhere.
Thrift is a sea side specialist and loves these barren rocky and salty places.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Life is stirring; the air is buzzing with the hum of bumble bees and hoverflies, brimstones, peacocks and commas are emerging, celandines, daffodils, wood anemones and dog violets are in flower, long tailed tits, wrens, robins, great tits are singing out, buzzards are pairing up by soaring on Spring thermals, the fish were leaping out of the water. Spring.
One thing I have noticed is that the first butterflies to emerge in early Spring are much more frisky and easily unsettled than later in the year and therefore harder to photograph. This is surprising given that it remains quite cool especially in the morning. It may be because as there are fewer of them at this time of year they are more conspicuous targets for birds and other predators, so it pays to be more agile.
comma and celandine
robin singing his socks off
Monday, March 19, 2012
entrance to our village this afternoon, (with traffic sign impedimenta and bins removed, if only planning and highway law were so simple). See link for same view from an earlier page from this blog with different flowers and more information.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
annual catkin photo against non annual blue sky, and, below, masses of very juvenile tadpoles. The greenish tinge in the middle of the photo is caused by the residual egg sacs from which they have emerged and which they are still feeding on. Unfortunately, it is very dry and like last year I think there is a real risk that these puddles will dry up before the tadpoles can mature.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Kit Hill quarry provides a wonderful range of tones with only hints of green at the moment. It has warmed up so quickly that crowfoot is already flowering in the small ponds around the quarry pool.
And a stonechat (I think) was puffing himself up and giving full vent to his Spring song.
post post script:- my in-house expert has suggested that what I thought was a stonechat is in fact a linnet. This may well be true because its song was strikingly beautiful and the linnet is renowned for the quality of its song. It also likes scrubland. I have a new source of information to keep us all well informed, Birds Britannica (see link)
link to RSPB). I have never managed to catch a green woodpecker on camera, but there is definitely one in residence on Kit Hill now. We will go hunting (only with a camera of course!)
Sunday, March 11, 2012
There was also an odd episode in the field behind our house. A buzzard flew down from a tree in our garden into the field. It was immediately the subject of a spectacular aerial attack by another buzzard. They appeared to be fighting for a minute or so before one flew off, and then the other flew off, neither seemed injured. I have never seen this behaviour before (they are quite furtive birds as a rule other than when they are in the air or roosting on a pole)
Friday, March 09, 2012
Monday, March 05, 2012
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Greater Stitchwort, the first of our true hedgerow plants, is back. According to my records this is very early this year even though it is a plant that flowers later in March. As this is Spot's blog Harriet, who has a natural interest in flora and fauna, insists on having a bit part in it as often as possible.