31 Jul 2010

Privet Hawk Moth

Two Pictures of a Privet Hawk Moth which I trapped, I took a chance on not getting a picture and moved it by hand, it was quite happy to stand on my finger while I transferred it to my Arum Lily, they look very drab until they unfold their wings.
There were plenty of other moths of all shapes and sizes but until my ordered book arrives I shall not be trying to identify the individuals although I have taken a few other record shots.

Garden Tiger Moth

This was in my trap two days ago, egg box background, not ideal for display.

30 Jul 2010

Large Caterpillar

I have no idea what this is a Caterpillar of only that it eats at a an alarming rate with large waste pellets being deposited at the rear almost at conveyer belt speed in one end and out of the other.

This Caterpillar looks smaller than it is he is noshing my Arum Lily plant which has large leaves the length of the caterpillar is 6.5 centimetres and suspect not fully grown. I have thought of keeping it for a while, I have a goodly supply of Arum's.


I think this is a bumblebee although I have not seen one before it was larger than a honey bee but smaller than the usual sized bumble bee, nevertheless it was a great insect. Thanks for the ID of hoverfly

A Ladybird with it's dinner.

Hoverflies in my Garden

I am absolutely inundated with hover flies and ladybirds, the reason being, I have an infestation of Black fly on my runner beans, I will not be spraying as I quite like watching at close quarters the hovers and ladybirds feeding.

28 Jul 2010

Red Admiral

A great example of the species, his condiion was pristine.

Gatekeeper ?

In my garden.

27 Jul 2010

Macro or Micro Moths

  • Could any of you knowledgeable field guys tell me what length or width constitutes a Macro or Micro Moth?

  • Many thanks Fred will be sending for the moth book when the wound in my pocket has healed, Moth Traps, not cheap..

  • Have the Herons moved north due to Global Warming, because their presence here is significant by the absence of these birds on my bird patches.

26 Jul 2010

Weekend trip

  • Very disappointing trip regarding birds, I did not get to Elmley, the road not suitable for the camper, however, arriving in Leysdown early Saturday morning we were informed that at Muswell Manor there was to be an airshow, the beach end of Leysdown was wall to wall with other campervans so we joined in and was treated to a nice display, six guys jumped out of an aircraft and performed precision paragliding from a great height, four Gypsy Moths did some aerobatics, but the highlight was the lone Spitfire who gave a very impressive display of pilot skills.
  • Sunday we moved to the Raptor viewpoint where we observed five marsh Harrier's at distance the viewing mound is practically impassable and overgrown, perhaps this is the RSPB's contribution to cutbacks or not. (excuse the pun)
  • While at the mound I met a couple of very nice people man an wife I think, who were really in all aspects of of Moths, Butterflies and Birds, in fact the whole spectrum of nature, they were down from Hertfordshire for the day and had a beautiful spaniel dog with them, they told me that they had last year photographed all 56 varieties of our butterflies, including the Camberwell Beauty which I think he said he tracked down in Scotland, some feat. Earlier that day they visited Elmley and the lady was rewarded by several shots of Brown Hares boxing. They are involved with the Herts and Essex moth and bird Society, I would like to wish them all the best, and luck, in their future persuits.

23 Jul 2010

Weekend on the Isle of Sheppey

I am away today in the camper, hope the weather is clement and the birds plentiful which, on my last visit was disappointing. So hoping to have a few pic's to post.

Good news from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust of Jersey, they have just released tadpoles of the Agile Frog at strategic sites on Jersey they were in danger of becoming extinct, now perhaps they have a chance

20 Jul 2010

Egret and a resting Ruff

These pictures are the only representation of my trip to Oare, Harty and Elmley, it was very hot and humid and the birds seemed to be feeling the same, virtually no movement of birds at any of the sites, I only made it halfway to the parking area at Elmley before turning round.

Quite a lot of Black Tailed Godwits at rest at Oare an amazing amount of Dragonflies and Damsels flitting about.

I placed an order for a moth trap today, am quite exited about trying it out. what would you lads consider is the best book for moth identification ?

Canada Goose

A Coot

16 Jul 2010

Dragonfly in the garden today 16.7.10

I have absolutely no idea what this is, apart from the fact it is a Dragonfly it is a beautiful creature and quite large, I looked in vain on the net but did not find the answer, am just pleased he dropped by giving me a chance shot with the camera.


My Cheeky Blackbird made Meridian News was included on Simon Parkin's Weather Spot last Wednesday, can be found on his blog at
  • blog.itv.com/meridian-west

15 Jul 2010

Trip out today 15.7.10

  • Had a trip to Nottcutts the garden centre at Maidstone this morning just for a browse, but did buy a couple of plants at an exorbitant price, however, when we had had enough of being fleeced, we took off onto the Ashford Road and before reaching the A20 there is a nursery, called Potted Gardens a friendly family run nursery but plants were not on my mind, but birds were,I happen to know that they are affiliated to Kent Wildlife Trust and have a great enclosed garden bordered by woodland mainly sweet chestnut and they have a hide strategically placed for observation by the public, they have feeders all over the place, species include most garden birds, Longtailed, Great, Coal and Blue-Tits, Goldfinch’s, Greenfinches, Yellowhammer, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Squirrels galore and the list goes on.
  • I just happened to have my camera with me so stayed for ten minutes or so and took a couple of shots, can be seen below.
  • If in the area it’s well worth a visit and is about a mile and a half from Nottcuttes just the other side of Bearstead.

Painted Lady

Grey Squirrell

Juvenile Robin

Thanks Warren for correct ID, it really was very tame.

12 Jul 2010

My Latest Pictures

  • The newer pictures were taken over three days and the sites were Oare, Harty, and Elmley, due to the heat there did not seem to be a lot of bird movement, at Oare was a large number of BT Godwits at rest, 1 Ruff, 1 juvenile Little Gull, Telescope only, 8 Greylag, 9 Canada Geese, 4 Egrets on the scrape and 2 Herons, also a large amount of BH Gulls being very noisy.
  • Harty produced 1 Marsh Harrier only, 1 Reed Warbler and the two Marsh Frogs pictured, and on the Fleet about 250 Greylag Geese, and 2 Shellduck.
  • Elmley, drove up as far as the farm, did not go any further Swallows very active, apparently the Spoonbills are still around..
  • We had a visit from a Sparrow Hawk which perched itself on the top of my bird feeder which is on the front lawn, I stared at it then suddenly the ID clicked, but not my camera in the mayhem and chaos that ensued "hunt the camera" it vanished as quick as it had appeared leaving me with the thought did I really see what I thought I saw, Oh well, never mind, he will probably materialise at some future date.
  • And that concludes my news.

A Common Darter.

Thes three pic's were taken in my garden over the last few days. Warren identified this as a common darter, my thanks Warren.
They do like my Lemon Balm.

This and below, a Marsh Frog, Oare.9-7-2010

  • I love the emerald green these little feller's are dressed in, they may be Alien to this country but they are very striking and I should add, they are not alien to the menu's of the Heron and Marsh Harrier and probsbly Egrets when the frogs are small, so they do fullfill a purpose, still trying to figure the role of the Wasp.
  • A thought comes to mind, I have a pond and my English frogs are in the early stages of being frogs and are venturing out of the pond, I had an abundance of frogs spawn but I have never seen the spawn of the marsh frog and at Oare they are many in number, I find this strange or have they some other method of procreation, any thoughts?

I'm forever.............

Grub at last.

More Ahhhhhh, Waiting for mum Ahhhhhhh

Little Grebe and Young, all of the same bird.

A very juvenile little grebe

6 Jul 2010

A Tender Moment

Its great to see Dad doing his share with the baby. I am told that any adult male or female will take on this task whether related or not, does any other reader find this the case?

1 Jul 2010

  • A very nice four hours birding on The Isle of Sheppey, weather, most conducive to the task at hand.
  • First I went to Leysdown, tide was low, forgot to check tide tables, so no birds, next on to Harty nice Raptor activity, lots of butterfly species around, nothing on the Fleet save a couple of Swans.
  • Then on to Elmley, lots of Swallow activity at the first farm, and at the rspb offices and park there were so many Meadow Brown Butterflies on the hedges they were almost at plague proportions, have only witnessed this once before and that was the same place three years ago.
  • I drove to the Wellmarsh Hide about forty Avocets in attendance, fifeteen Black tailed Godwits, the males were in full mating colour, (Rufous Red) and half a dozen Oyster Catchers, however, spot of the day was the Spoonbill in flight but at distance, apparently three days ago there were three.

And that concludes my day.

Male adult Marsh Harrier

The same bird as below, and was observed clasping talons and tumbling, this usually takes place in courtship or feeding young birds on the wing.

Adult Male Marsh Harrier

Taken at Harty, close to the Raptor Viewpoint and to the south.

An Oyster Catcher

This was at Harty and taken in the vicinity of the fleet, not unusual to see these birds sitting around in all sorts of peculiar places, particularly during the breeding season, the Redshank is another bird that adopts this behaviour.

At RSPB Elmley

What a magnificent beast, and it is rumoured that he is quite a hit with the ladies, Cows of course, what a job, and you get to see the wildlife as well.


This Moth flew into the hide at rspb Elmley, Isle of Sheppey today 7-1-2010, on any dark surface I would doubt if it could have been spotted, so come on you field guy's give it a name.