Tuesday, 30 April 2013

More spring flowers

The world has become so much more colourful just in the last week. Honesty flowers and the bright yellow Marsh Marigolds are so bright that if you look at them in direct sunlight it makes your eyes run. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Flowering Redcurrant

The smell of the redcurrant is my favourite spring smell. Not obviously flowery it's got a distinct fruitiness to it. I'm happy to see some of the Tawny Mining Bees on these flowers, 
also one of their favourites.

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Comma

Yesterday's warm, sunny afternoon brought out butterflies. I watched this Comma chase away a Holly Blue butterfly. He seemed very territorial about the flowering redcurrant leaf he kept returning to.

Commas get their names from a small, white, comma-shaped mark on the underside of each hind wing. Sometimes hard to see because they usually settle with their wings open, but I was lucky this time.

Thursday, 25 April 2013


Yesterday I saw both sorts of thrush in the park. They are quite easy to tell apart. 
Mistle thrushes have a grey head and neck and round spots on their chest. 

The Song thrush is much browner, smaller and has upside down heart-shaped spots on it's chest.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Jackdaw's Nest

Spring seems to have lasted three days, now it feels like summer. Butterflies are beginning to appear, Brimstones, Holly Blues and Commas and birds are busy nesting. I found some very noisy jackdaws who had made a home in a dead tree. They had managed to find one with two floors. They were coming and going through both holes.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Tawny Mining Bee

A little row of holes in the ground give away the presence of the Tawny Mining Bee. The beautiful deep orange-brown female comes and goes from one of the nests. 

The bees like to visit gooseberry and currant flowers between April and June.

So lovely to see some insects again. Summer is on the way.

Friday, 19 April 2013


Fine Feather Press had a morning out at a farm. The piglets were entertaining. But when they were asleep in a line they looked like sausages with ears. Oh dear.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Marvellous Mallards

A pair of mallards flying in formation in Bushy Park. Even though they look so different when they're in the water their wing patches are strikingly similar when you see them in flight. The male's tail feathers have two little black curls in them. 

Friday, 12 April 2013


 No picture today. Go out and listen. Listen to the birds singing of Spring. The Blackbirds have a very different song. It is wonderful.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Antler Saga Part 2

I've just been out scouring for antlers again. Nothing. Although I'm beginning to feel pursued by bad luck. Here's the same deer 12 hours apart.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Searching for antlers

The deer in the park are shedding their antlers. It's late this year, probably because of the cold weather. The regrowth of new ones starts as soon as the old ones are shed. 

Try as I might I've not been able to find any shed antlers so far. I'm not getting out early enough, people pick them up. I'll try again today. This deer is probably keen to lose the other antler, he must feel lop-sided as they're relatively heavy.

Monday, 8 April 2013

New cameras

Fine Feather Press have invested in new cameras - it is all very exciting. 

Andrea is studiously reading the manual, I'm just pointing, clicking and hoping for the best. With luck, now the weather is improving, there will be a rush of very close up shots of things all in crispy detail. 

But I guess the manual reader will produce the best results.