Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Been camping in the Norfolk Broads. Had my best ever [UK] views of Swallowtail and Norfolk Hawker, though the pictures of the former are so bad I'm not showing them to you (it was a long way away).

We could have visited lots more broads/fens but it was too hot to do very much. So here's a small selection of photos (more here, if you want them).

Strumpshaw Fen
RSPB Strumpshaw Fen

Norfolk Hawker
Norfolk Hawker

Water soldiers at Upton Broad
Upton Broad, looked after by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Variable Damselfly
Variable Damselfly (I think)

Upton Broad
Lush woodland

Blue-tailed Damselfly
Blue-tailed Damselfly

Sunset on the campsite
A tent with a view

The campsite was pretty good for wildife. We pitched our tent next to a dyke. Hairy Dragonflies perched in the Alder trees above it, Blue-tailed Damselflies flitted around the reeds at its edge, and a Water Vole plopped into its waters. Next thing, I heard a loud crunching, as if a person was eating spring onions. I looked down and the vole was a few feet away. That was quite good, and about 10 feet from the tent.

We added Whimbrel, Avocet, Green Sandpiper, Cuckoo, Oystercatcher and Redshank to the 'birds heard from the tent' list.

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D and EF 300mm f/4L IS USM or Canon Powershot A640

Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby newt

Great Crested Newt eft

This little guy seems to be a Great Crested Newt eft. It's good to know that at least some have made it to this size.

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Bumblebee on Catmint

Bees love Honeysuckle...
Bumbling bees

Silver-Y (check out the curly tongue)

Large Red Damselflies
Large Red Damselflies

Broad-bodied Chaser
Broad-bodied Chaser

Four-spotted Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser

Red-eyed Damseflies
Red-eyed Damselflies

Azure Damselflies
Azure Damselflies

Icheneumon wasp sp.
Ichneumon wasp with scary-looking ovipositor (not a sting)

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back from Africa

Large Skipper
Large Skipper - quick shot grabbed with my phone. Not bad, considering.


It's not me who's back from Africa - it's the Whitethroat on the right of this photo. We caught him last summer in Beeston and again today. Since we saw him last, he's traversed the Sahara and come back again to the same patch of brambles. Mindboggling. 

The young Whitethroat on the left was caught in the same net at the same time today, so perhaps it's the male's offspring.

Tractor... somewhere?
You expect to see tractors out in the sticks...

Ferrari comes to Potton
...but a Ferrari is not an everyday sight in Potton

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM or Apple iPhone 3GS

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Dragonfly exuvia (shell leftover when the larva metamorphoses into an adult dragonfly). 
Southern Hawker or Emperor? I'm not sure...


Blue-tailed Damselfly
Blue-tailed Damselfly

Waterlily hiding

Watch out for the toad
Large Red Damselfly trying to land on a too-shiny sign. It had better watch out for the toad...

Pink flowers

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, or Canon Powershot A640

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Colour-ring resighting is the new rock'n'roll

Mute Swans

On the way to a gig in Bedford, we spent a few minutes watching the Mute Swans on the river. Loads of them are ringed with a metal BTO ring on one leg, and a coloured plastic ring - with big numbers - on the other.

In about 10 minutes we notched up 13 resightings. I don't suppose any of them have been very far, but it's all useful.

Send in your sightings of ringed birds here!

photo taken with iPhone 3GS

A bird for the table

Ready for the table

Is this what people mean when they talk about poultry being "for the table"?

This is where I eat my breakfast in summer!

photos taken with Canon Powershot A640 + Leica Apo Televid 77 with 20x eyepiece

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Scarce Chasers still scarce

Banded Demoiselle

Banded Demoiselle

Banded Demoiselle

As ever, there were loads of Banded Demoiselles at Roxton this morning.

But only a handful of Scarce Chasers were to be seen

Scarce Chaser

Four-spotted Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser

See the leaves

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Friday, June 04, 2010

Another day, another dragonfly

Emperor dragonfly

Today at the swimming pool, a female Emperor laid her eggs while the male patrolled nearby. A female Broad-bodied Chaser darted about, a Hairy Dragonfly zapped around and damselflies perched in the reeds and on the lilypads.

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hurray for the damsels and dragons!

Common Blue Damselflies
Common Blue Damselflies

Azure Damselflies
Azure Damselflies

Large Red Damselflies
Large Red Damselflies

Blue-tailed Damselfly
Blue-tailed Damselfly

Four-spotted Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM