Sunday, 5 July 2009

Insects Before the Storm.

Small Skipper
Common Blue Damselfly (newly emerged)

Soldier Beetle

Small Skipper and Soldier Beetle

Meadow Brown Butterfly

Burnet Moth

Meadow Brown Butterfly

5th July. I decided to take a walk around to the lake today to check out how the Great Crested Grebe chicks were fairing. On passing the other day I had only seen three chicks. As it happens my attention was taken more by insects on the journey, but first of all the Great Crested Grebes. I found only three chicks remaining of the initial five and I’m sure I didn’t miss any. One of them seems to be doing really well and is far bigger the two siblings. One of the adults was busily feeding two of the youngsters whilst the other one appeared to be napping with the other youngster staying close by. I noted another photographer had come down to take photographs. Not much else in the way of birds on the small lake although the Grey Heron was disturbed when I approached, but only flew to the furhter side of the lake.

As soon as I walked through the area where a school had burnt down some years ago I was struck by the number of insects flying about, initially it was the bumblebees which caught my eye. Then there were large numbers of Meadow Brown Butterflies and Small Skippers. I hope I have the Small Skipper correct this time. ;-) They certainly looked like Small Skippers to me but I'm happy to be corrected. I managed to take several photos by just hanging around the patch of herbage. The only other butterfly about was Small White. There was certainly more than one Burnet Moth (not sure if you can see it well enough to count the spots) which I managed to photograph without noticing the Soldier Beetle next to it. I took some time to photograph the beetle then when I got home found I had it already. Neither had I noticed all of the small greenfly type insects on the stalks of the thistles.

There were also a number of Common Blue and the odd Blue Tailed Damselflies about and I tried my without success to photograph a pair of the former in tandem. By now the wind was bring the storm closer so photography was not easy. I did manage a photograph of a newly emerged Common Blue Damselfly. I suspect many of these insects were newly emerged and think the Common Ragwort Senecio jacobaea in the area is the attraction. I know this plant is vital to many insects although I have to check on which butterflies are attracted to it.
Anyway with my recent attempts at photography showing some success I’m seriously thinking about investing in a Digital SLR and doing some ‘proper’ macro photography. I think bird photography may be out for me as it seems like to much equipment to carry around and I have enough already with bins and telescope, but you should never say never I suppose and I suppose I often don’t carry the scope

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