24 Aug 2011

Assorted moths from the trap.

Nature in the Raw

An unfortunate Male Demoiselle Fly has unfortunately been caught by this spider and is obviously going to be a meal at some stage, I took this by patiently waitng on the bridge at Lunsford Lakes, Ham Hill.
and taken with a Panasonic G2 300 four thirds tele lens.

I have no idea what this moth is, except what great camouflage it has, he was a victim of my moth trap a few days ago.

5 Jul 2011

Banded Demoiselle

Ken has very kindly identified these very attractive creatures and are.
Hi Dave.
I have taken many photo's of these Damselflies at Lunsford/New Hythe Lakes, and they are male and female Banded Demoiselle, the female being green.
Thanks for the ID Ken

25 Jun 2011

I have no idea what these Dragonflly lookalikes are called, they seem to come in a great variety of florescent colours and are to be found in only one little patch at Lunsford Lakes.
I have included the four or so pictures which I took on a day trip they are very beautiful creatures and a close encounter with these birds and animals will certainly give you the feel good factor.

Eagle Owl

Bald Eagle

Short Eared Owl resting

I took this from the Ferry House car park

Come on in the water's fine

Avocet Chick


Your "meat" comes from a creature who has met
A hideous and most untimely death
Nor is it seemly when upon your dish
Lie corpses of a murdered bird or fish.

One fleeting glimpse of any factory farm
Would make the vilest soul cry in alarm.
The chickens, cows and pigs - their lives obscene
Degraded to meat, milk and egg machines.

The cows, their fate sealed at the slaughter house,
Can hear their friends in front of them cry out.
If we pretend that of this they know not,
We grossly underestimate their lot.

The chickens, five crammed tightly to a cage
Oft peck their mates in frightened fits of rage.
The light which blinds these creatures night and day
Adds sin and cruelty to each egg they lay.

The male chicks not appealing to our taste,
Are tossed alive in bags to our great haste.
This writhing heap of bodies is no lie.
Eventually, they suffocate and die.

To better understand a dairy cow
Try picturing this horrid scene somehow:
You're pumped with drugs, you're pregnant and you hurt.
And then your child is robbed from you at birth.

She is no mere automaton, I say.
She mourns the loss of her child several days.
The farmers steal your milk from you and then
For profit's sake, they knock you up again.

The child, a girl will share her mother's fate
If he's a boy, he's off to the veal crate -
A squalid, filthy stall not two feet wide.
He ne'er sees light and cannot turn inside.

A pig's life is the cruellest life around.
The female lies immobile on the ground.
The males can sexually enter her at will.
Her infants suck her nipples through a grill.

Since they've no space, insanity prevails.
And normally, they'd bite each others tails.
For farmers, this would cause a profit drain.
So tails are yanked at birth with squeals of pain.

The more we hide from these injustices
The less we find we know what justice is.
We spare our cats and dogs from such "misuse",
So why allow the other cruel abuse?

These are no more automatons, I say.
They're feeling creatures tortured night and day.
By people who in numbness feel no more,
For use by us who in our haste, ignore!

Here is a cause that rests on naught but us
And though at first we kick and scream and fuss,
We find in time a wholeness that will last
Despite the horrors of our actions past.

Those of religion, here's a truth today.
In front of you. It will not go away.
This is your trial; if you should shut it out.
Then, say, what is religion all about?

23 May 2011

A few oddments

A few pics I forgot to publish.

17 May 2011

Pleasant morning at RSPB Elmley

A nice morning on Elmley reserve yesterday 16-5-2011 a cool wind kept temperatures down but it did not spoil a good morning,.

The Wellmarsh scrape has now given up a lot of its water to evaporation and as a result the Godwits and Avocets can feed comfortably, there were good numbers of both Avocet and Black Tailed Godwit, three or four Redshank, two Pochard, very small number of Canada Geese and Greylag, surprising to me was the absence of Ringed Plover and Yellow Wagtail.

I can also report good numbers of Marsh Harrier, eight in all seen from the Wellmarsh hide.

A lone Spoonbill in flight at distance, and I can report that I saw a single Spoonbill on Grain marshes, possibly one of the three that seem to have taken to this area, perhaps even joining the Heron and Egrets at Northward Hill.

 Am hoping to get over to Sheppey tomorow.

Brown Hare

An obliging Hare at close quarters.

Three adult Med Gulls and one juvenile

A pair of Redshank

A nice shot of these birds its all about composition and not just getting a record shot with the subject bang in the middle.

Meadow or Tree Pipit ?

I have researched my books and enlisted the help of the web as to which of the two this bird is, I have come to the conclusion that it could be a tree pipit, the eye stripe is more prominent in the tree and the beak a little heavier which they are.

Some not so usual pictures of Black Tailed Godwits

BT Godwits settling after being disturbed by a marauding Marsh Harrier, it made a very pleasing composition.

This is a particularly fine example of  a BT Godwit, still displaying the deep rufous colouring.

8 May 2011

Legal battle for bumblebee paradise

Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is fighting to protect a wildlife haven on the Isle of Grain in Kent from a huge National Grid warehouse development. This bug paradise is home to a variety of beautiful, rare and endangered insects including a large population of threatened bumblebee species.

The Isle of Grain Hoo Peninsular, Kent, supports an exceptional area of Open Mosaic Habitat providing lots of pollen and nectar rich flowers, bare ground ideal for burrowing and basking insects and pools for aquatic beetles and bugs - a similar habitat to West Thurrock Marshes, a key wildlife site that Buglife fought to save in 2008The Isle of Grain is home to an array of special plants, reptiles, bumblebees, hoverflies and beetles. Important bumblebees present include the Brown banded carder-bee (Bombus humilis) and Shrill carder-bee (Bombus sylvarum). Also living on the Open Mosaic Habitat are the White eye-stripe hoverfly (Paragus albifrons), which until recently was believed to be extinct, and Mellet's downy-back beetle (Ophonus melletii), which is so rare that it has only been seen five times in the UK in the last 20 years.

Matt Shardlow, Buglife Chief Executive said 'The Isle of Grain is likely to be one of the most important sites in Britain for rare and endangered invertebrates. This is a bug paradise and National Grid's current plans to develop it into  a huge business park and lorry depot would destroy it.'

National Grid has already sprayed large areas of the site with pesticides, justifying this as an attempt to eliminate Brown-tail moths. This has resulted in the loss of flowering plants and bushes used by pollinating insects such as bumblebees White eye-stripe hoverfly (Paragus albifrons) (c) Mikel Tapia Arriada

Buglife have started a legal battle on behalf of the invertebrates inhabiting the site. In the first round of legal proceedings the judge agreed with Buglife that National Grid and Medway Council had failed to properly assess the impact on the wildlife of the site. The Judge concluded that National Grid must stop spraying the site with pesticides and allow the ecology to recover before undertaking further surveys to find out exactly how important the wildlife is. Despite the judge's support of Buglife's arguments he refused to allow Buglife to judicially review the planning permission.

Matt Shardlow responded 'We are pleased that the judge recognised the ecological importance of National Grid's land, and highlighted that the planning process has not

properly considered its importance, but we are not convinced that the proposal to just do more ecological assessments will save the animals. Buglife is appealing this decision; that is the right thing to do for the bumblebees and to ensure that future generations of people will benefit from the bee's diligent work pollinating flowers and crops'.

Dr. Ben Darvill, Director of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust said "The Thames Gateway is of national importance for rare bumblebees with populations hanging on in flower-rich pockets of habitat. The Isle of Grain is a very important site and if it is destroyed or degraded the whole population structure could collapse."

Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is the only charity in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, and is actively working to save Britain's rarest bugs, bees, butterflies, ants, worms, beetles, snails and many more fascinating invertebrates. Further information is available on Buglife's website at www.buglife.org.uk

.The site is 164 hectares in total; over 100 hectares of important habitat for rare and endangered invertebrates will be destroyed or degraded by the development. The development has not been designed to avoid the most valuable areas open mosaic habitat.Normally one would expect several weeks of survey work on an area of this potential significance .A one day survey as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment found an outstanding 258 species; 13 of which are Red Data Book, 23 Nationally scarc, 4 have UKBAP status and 11 are to beof rare or accasional occurrance.

The East Thames Corridor region currently supports one of the most important remaining metapopulations of the Brown banded carder-bee (Bombus humilis) and Shrill carder-bee (Bombus sylvarum) in the UK, but many sites are already lost or under direct threat of development. Bumblebee populations appear to operate at a landscape scale and it is probable that viable individual populations require minimum ranges of between ten to twenty km2 of good matrix habitat, including several large patches of flowers within these range areas. A thriving population of bumblebees will require dozens of active nests and tens of hectares of suitable habitat.

Mellet's Downy-back beetle (Ophonus melletii) is a UKBAP priority species. This beetle has declined more than 50% over the last 25 years, and there have only been five records in the last 20 years, one of which was from Rochester (N Kent), finding this beetle on site is very significant.

White eye-stripe hoverfly (Paragus albifrons) is a very rare species. Hoverfly experts were poised to declare this species as extinct, but it is now known to survive on two brownfield sites in the Thames Gateway. The ecological requirements of this species are not fully understood.

30 Apr 2011

A Yellow Wagtail

Trip out to a Boot fair on Sheppey this morning 30-4-2011 on the way back, decided to drive up as far as the farm at Elmley  the Yellow Wag and The Little Grebe were my reward for no effort.

Paired up Redshank

These birds are at the moment are very visible at RSPB Elmley and if patient some good shots can be had.
Not sure what the object of this exercise was about, but whatever it was he was intent on collecting a hell of a lot of these reeds, the nest was already built as seen in the previous shot, perhaps he decided on a holiday home.

Nesting at Elmley

28 Apr 2011

A Holly Blue

This Holly Blue would not open it's wings.

A lovely field of Buttercups

Taken at Cuxton.