Tuesday, 30 June 2015

30 Days Wild:Day 30 - A Wildlife Trust Walk

  The last day of The Wildlife Trusts #30DaysWild challenge is here.It has been great fun doing, if a little tough at times to get a blog sorted and posted before Midnight.I have to admit that if I hadn't signed up to do this, probably two thirds of the last 30 days would not have included spending time with Nature so I have to thank The Wildlife Trusts and Lucy McRobert for the fantastic idea to help us get out and embrace our natural world.
  So, what to do on the final day? A few hours at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's flagship reserve seemed to be the thing to do so it was a short 40 minute drive to Potteric Carr near Doncaster.
  To make the day even better I got to spend it with a couple of online friends I have been conversing with for a few years about Wildlife:)
  With Andy after our walk around the reserve.(His wife Cheryll was a bit camera shy;))

  On leaving the visitor centre and heading through the Butterfly gardens all you could hear were singing Willow Warblers and Blackcaps.After an extensive search of a couple of Oak trees I finally spotted the Male Blackcap.

  Also up in the Oak tree while looking for the Blackcap I saw this Spider's web glittering with colours of the rainbow.

  Next I have to mention the Dragonflies of which there were many, even larger in number were the Damselflies.Dragonflies on the wing were 4-spot Chasers, Common Darters, Emperors and Broad-bodied Chasers.
Emperor Dragonfly

The Emperor Dragonfly Ovipositing.(laying her eggs)

4-spot Chaser.

  Female Broad-bodied Chaser.What a stunningly coloured creature:)

 Banded Demoiselle.

   Due to the very hot day there were also several species of Butterfly in attendance, Red Admirals, Large Whites, Small Skippers, Ringlets, Small Tortoiseshells, Meadow Browns and Commas.
Comma Butterfly.

  A pair of mating Meadow Brown Butterflies.(photo by Majella Fox)

  A total count of 25 Bird species over the 5 hours at the reserve including the blue flash of a Kingfisher, Reed Buntings and Warblers, Song Thrush, a pair of Marsh Harriers & a Great Crested Grebe.
 Canada Gosling.

  Reed Warbler.

  One of the pair of Marsh harriers seen at the Piper Marsh hide, getting mobbed by Black-headed Gulls.

  So over the 5 hours walk we saw 25 Bird species, 7 Butterfly species, 7 Dragonfly/Damselfly species and 2 fish species(Perch & Roach).
  A fantastic day to end my #30dayswild challenge on.Thank you again to The Wildlife Trusts for coming up with the idea and I hope it has inspired lots of people to get out more and enjoy Nature.If any of my last 30 blogs have helped 1 person go outdoors and embrace our Natural World, whether it be Moth Trapping, Bird Watching, Cleaning the beaches or just spending that 10 minutes in your own garden taking in the beauty we have around us then it will have all been worth it:)
  Thank you so much for reading my blogs and I hope to continue this, "Do something wild everyday plan" even if I don't blog it everyday.It makes each day seem better and I have seen things I otherwise wouldn't have if I had just stayed indoors.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to look through my blogs:)
Take care and go out and enjoy our wildlife.
Kindest regards
Stuart Pike

Monday, 29 June 2015

30 Days Wild:Day 29 - Crawl before You Walk

  Well, here is the penultimate blogpost for my #30DaysWild Challenge with The Wildlife Trusts.
 It has been a very warm day so went for a relaxing walk at our local reserve, Messingham Sand Quarry.
  The meadows are now grown and there were plenty of Orchids about, mainly these Southern Marsh Orchids(I think, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong;))
  Among the leaves of the reeds and unflowered Buddleia were numerous Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetles.

  After the change to my macro lens, the walk quickly became a crawl in a hunt for more bugs.Blue-tailed & Azure Damselflies were everywhere enjoying the warm afternoon sun.

  Crawling through the long grass it wasn't long before I started finding Arachnids.First this Tetragnatha Extensa,

Then closely followed by this gorgeous Cucumber Green Spider(Araniella cucurbitina)

  Lots of young snails hid among the long grass for protection.This one giving me a quick photo opportunity.

  By this time it had now taken us about half hour to move a couple of metres along the long grass at the edge of the lake.Other people at the reserve were just walking past giving us a strange look, wondering what we were doing lol These people just don't know what they are missing out on, reserves are not just for Bird watching ;)
  The next find was this Garden Chafer beetle which was quite happy to pose for a head shot:)

  Lots of Butterflies were now on the wing , mainly Large Whites, Red Admirals, Speckled Woods and Ringlets.
Speckled Wood Butterfly.

 Ringlet Butterfly.

  Not to be out done there were also member of the Moth family around with Cinnabars and this Clouded Border Moth.

  Among the Brambles were a few of these strange looking creatures, some people wouldn't recognise them but they are Ladybird Larvae.

  Hidden among the grass in the next open meadow I found this juvenile Dragonfly, maybe a Black Tailed Skimmer.

  One you get down into the grass and undergrowth you can lose yourself for hours in a totally alien world.Next time you get out into the country or on a reserve make sure you take the time to get down and examine the grasses and leaves as you may find something wonderful that you haven't ever imagined before.Don't miss out like other people:)
  See you tomorrow for my last #30DaysWild blogpost.
Thanks for following:)

30 Days Wild:Day 28 - Mothing In The Garden

  I hope you wasn't thinking I failed the #30day challenge as I missed yesterday.I did do something wild, but didn't post last night as was following the Wildlife Trusts "Green time not screen time" unplugged day.
  So Day 28 is here and Day 29 will follow later this evening, just leaving the final day tomorrow.

 Instead of "screen time" I spent yesterday evening in the garden til around Midnight with some Moths.
 Here are a few that arrived early around the Moth Trap.

Marbled Beauty.


Riband Wave.

Light Brown Apple Moth.



  Remember all these moths are probably flying around your garden in the evenings now.All you need is a bright light and a white sheet and spend a warm evening out in the garden finding some of our wonderful Moths.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

30 Days Wild:Day 27 - A Walk Down the Lane:Part 2

  Another work day so a late evening walk down our village lane again in hope of some peace and quiet and maybe a bit of wildlife.
  Its been a couple of weeks since I was down here and the fields are now waist high in crops so not too good for spotting Hares but I eventually found a couple in a field further down the lane.

   This Yellowhammer was merrily singing the evening away.

  The same person who lives down the lane had more persecuted Corvids hanging from his fences and one in his front garden.Not far from this one was a large wall mirror laid on the lawn? Maybe his way of keeping their attention while he fetches his gun? Distressing image below:(

  After giving up on the Barn Owls once again, my partner picked me up and we drove a little out of the village in hope of a better chance.Still no luck so ended up taking a few photos of this Poppy field as dusk approached.

  She keeps taking pics of me when I am watching wildlife so got one back tonight.Here is my partner, Majella Fox searching for the elusive Barn Owl.

  So instead of watching repeats on TV for 2 hours it was nice to spend the time out on a nice warm evening even if the Barn Owl didn't grace us with its presence.