Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Lodge in Mid-summer

29th June 2014

As we are in mid-summer and the birds everywhere are very quiet the primary objective of going to The Lodge was to try and increase my list of hoverflies. Just as well, as the day was warm but gloomy and therefore I set off down to the gardens. There were certainly plenty of hoverflies around, although few were cooperative. I did eventually manage to get a few shots and increased my hoverfly list by one. These were two of the better shots.

 Episyrphus balteatus

Helophilus pendulus

On the way back to the hide I came across a bramble patch surrounded by bracken. This was attracting quite a few butterflies including this Comma and Meadow Brown. As I was photographing the Comma a much larger and brighter butterfly was circling round, a Silver-washed Fritillary, but never settled for a photograph.

I then moved on the the hide for a spot of lunch not expecting too much activity at this time of year, although I was pleasantly surprised. First to pay a visit was the resident Red-legged Partridge obviously attracted to the seed that had been dropped from the feeders. Hardly an arable field habitat where you would normally expect to find them but welcome nevertheless.

Next to take advantage of the free food was a Jay and a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker. Adult Great-spots have black caps with the male having a red spot on its nape, but juveniles have an all-red cap making them easy to identify.

But the star of the day was a Spotted Flycatcher which was feeding in the Silver Birches behind the hide. It wasn't very cooperative, especially on a rather dull day, but I did manage to get at least one reasonable shot.

In the end proved to be better for birds than insects.

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