Mint Moth

Posted: September 5, 2019 in Butterflies and Moths, Natural History
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This common moth was once only found in chalk and limestone grassland, quarries, woodland or marshland, but is increasingly being reported from gardens. There are two generations, occurring from mid-April to June and again from July to mid-September. Flies actively in the sunshine and also at night.

Little Ringed Plover

Posted: September 4, 2019 in Birds, Natural History
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The Little Ringed Plover is a summer visitor to the UK, unlike its bigger cousin, the Ringed Plover which is primarily a winter visitor with only a few breeding pairs.

The distinctive features are the yellow eye-ring (which in Ringed Plover is absent) and a plain wing in flight (Ringed Plover has a white wing bar).

It is often found on sandy scrapes where it nests in a hollow in the ground. It is estimated that there are around 1200 breeding pairs in the UK.

Similar to the Gatekeeper, featured yesterday, the Meadow Brown is a common butterfly found in grassland and gardens.

William Wallace (engraving of the late 17th or 18th century)
Source: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c20690 (Public Domain)

William Wallace was a member of the lower Scottish nobility. He was born in 1270 and fought in the wars of Independence against England. After leading the Scottish army to victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, he was appointed the governor of Scotland, a post which he held until his defeat at Falkirk the following year when he resigned in favour of Robert the Bruce. Wallace is believed to have left Scotland and travelled for several years around the courts of Europe, pleading the Scottish case against the King Of England.

By 1304, he was back in Scotland, fighting the English invaders. In August 1305 he was captured by a Scottish Lord, who supported the English King and handed over to the English forces. He was brought to London and tried for treason and war atrocities. He responded to the charge that he could never have committed treason as he was not a subject of the King of England. He was found guilty and was executed at Smithfield.

This memorial was unveiled in April 1856 near the site of Wallace’s execution.

On Tuesday at the London wetland Centre, Keith and I came across these Hawaiian Geese in the wildfowl collection just looking for an opportunity to escape their pen. They have obviously made a habit of this as there are signs on the gates asking people to make sure they do not get out.

Migrant Hawker

Posted: August 29, 2019 in Dragonflies, Natural History
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Some pictures of Migrant Hawker Dragonflies at London Wetland Centre of Tuesday

One of the hottest days of the Summer saw Keith and I at the Wetland Centre in West London in the hope of finding some migrant birds. As it was there seemed to have been little evidence of migration with just an early morning report of a Whinchat, which I don’t think was relocated during the day. There was plenty to see however with numerous dragonflies and plenty of butterflies, even if the latter was restricted to 2 species. We also saw a Little Ringed Plover and a Common Lizard.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Rock Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Dragonflies

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)
Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

Butterflies

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Common Lizard

This butterfly is found in gardens and woodlands throughout the summer.

Rosas

Posted: August 26, 2019 in Natural History
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I love observing the rain on leaves and plants, so really love this picture of a rose after a rain shower or maybe it had just been watered.

Photography Art Plus

Rosas

Welcome august.

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Ruddy Darter

Posted: August 23, 2019 in Dragonflies, Natural History
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Yesterday I published some pictures of Common Darter and mentioned a similar species, the Ruddy Darter, so I thought today I would publish some pictures of that species for comparison.