Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Barnes Common - A different location and 2 nice discoveries

This weekend I decided I'd try somewhere new to take some photos. I was aware of where Barnes common is, I'd walked past it, been in taxis and buses which went past it, but never actually had a walk through it. So that's what I did. In the process, I made a couple of nice little discoveries.

Discovery 1: the stream that runs through Barnes common is the same stream that runs under Priest's Bridge (when I think about it, where it's located and the direction it runs, it's kinda obvious). I'd crossed this stream at Priest's Bridge many times before, as I was walking to Barnes station, and have been intrigued by this clear running stream, where it went and what delights it had to offer.

I started to explore the stream and saw a few damselflies busy going from one plant to the next. As I got closer to the group of plants they seemed to like, a female Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx Virgo) landed right next to me, giving me a beautiful shot.

Unfortunately, at this point, the damselflies were about as much as I could see on the stream, so I moved on.

As I moved away from the stream I began to notice all of the wild flowers there were in the semi-cut grass. Barnes common seems to be fairly managed whilst being given the freedom to grow slightly wild, allowing lots of beautiful flowers and grasses to call it home.

As I continued my walk I, somehow, managed to spot 2 mating Squash Bugs (Coreus Marginatus) on a dock leaf.

As I continued with my walk I heard a Wren flying about, chirping, but couldn't quite see where it was. I then heard a young wren's call in a nearby tree, so I went to see if I could spot them. That's where I made discovery no. 2.

Discovery 2: 3 beautiful baby Wren's, perched in the tree, doing their best to hide until Mum/Dad came back.

In the second photo, there are 3 babies. The middle one is slightly hidden, looking up, hence why you can't see its face like you can with the outer 2.

I finished my walk via Barnes pond. My aim was to see if there were any other damselflies and also to see if the heron I'd seen hanging out there so regularly wanted to have a photo taken. It would appear not, on both counts.

However, there were a few Mallards to be seen and a group of ducklings as well. Not a bad pay off I suppose.

I also spotted a caterpillar, which I believe is a Buff Ermine Moth (Spilosoma Luteum) basking in the sun on the fence around the pond.

And the final photo from my walk, a nice shot of an Egyptian Goose having a little swim.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Cornwall - Sun, sea and sand dunes

This weekend, I was down in Hayle, in Cornwall, for a family birthday. We were staying at the Beachside Holiday Park, just outside Hayle itself. It's right on the beach and, for the money, you can't go wrong.

The first day, Friday, was hot hot hot which made for a great sunset.

As the holiday park was situated at the top of the sand dunes, and the seagulls were flying along the beach below, I saw it as a good opportunity to practice my "birds in flight" photographic skills.

To start, a couple of shots of a Yellow-legged Gull.

And to finish, a shot of a Herring Gull flying off into the distance.

The following day, while everyone else went down to the beach, I decided to have a wander around the sand dunes to see what I could see.

As I reached the top, I spotted a Meadow Pipit which had just caught a grasshopper. I later briefly spotted the juvenile which these grasshoppers were being fed to. Judging by the size of the juvenile, it had been fed a lot, but not too many to stop it flying off before I could get a shot of it.

It was lovely to see so many butterflies flitting around the grasses and wild flowers.

Small Copper.

Brown Argus.

A Brown Argus sharing a Common Bird's-foot Trefoil with a Purple Hairstreak.

Six-spot Burnet.

Small Skipper

As I continued to walk around, it was clear that there were thousands of Grasshoppers for the Meadow Pipit to choose from. They were very active, enjoying the sun and warming themselves on the sand.

I had a wander over to the dunes on the other side of the holiday park which were a lot more over-grown with brambles and bushes. I wasn't disappointed and was able to spot another two bird species to add to my growing list.

A female Whinchat (I think) eyeing either me, or the bee I also managed to capture in the shot.

And a brightly coloured Linnet.

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