note that sting!

I met this one on a walk the other day.

caterpillar

Little to Big

Over the past week we were able to grab these photos of the tiniest to a pretty big bird. We have two battling hummingbirds at our balcony feeder. One has taken to staking out the feeder by perching on our tomato plant cage below. Unfortunately this means it's always backlit but we still liked the pic. Read more... )
quarryquest: (Default)

Migrant Hawker dragonfly

DSCF8311

There are a lot of these flying about at the moment, the trick is to catch them when they touch down.
Entry tags:

Hop Hop

Morning frog

Hanging out watching me make coffee yesterday morning.
left_turns: (Default)
[personal profile] left_turns2017-08-20 12:19 am

Lincoln Park Black-Crowned Night Herons

I went up to Chicago a couple months ago and keep forgetting to post this. I spent a day at the zoo and conservatory in Lincoln Park near the lake shore. I nearly didn't bother with the children's zoo, but I ended up over there looking for something else. The trails through it are set up like a woodland trail--sort of narrow and winding through a lot of birch plantings, and covered in bird poo. Near one stand of trees, the zoo had posted a few signs saying basically "yes, we know the paths are messy and please also don't bother the herons above you; those aren't ours."

Apparently black-crowned night herons are on the Illinois state endangered list, but there's been a flock of them nesting in the zoo and somewhere else further south in the park for the last few summers.

DSC_3198
+5 )

I wonder how it got there..

tree in abandoned building

Probably via bird poop? Or wind.
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila2017-08-16 01:39 pm

Banded demoiselle

Banded demoiselle
Banded demoiselle perched on the roof of the woodshed. The toddler was delighted.

We get these damselflies as well as dragonflies flitting through our canal-side garden every year, but they don’t often stop and say hello.
Entry tags:

Mystery No More - Killdeer

I'm fairly sure I saw this bird swooping over our lake, possibly eating insects. It was hard to get a clear picture of it as it kept walking around and didn't stay standing long. Does anyone have any idea what it is? Read more... )
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila2017-08-10 08:39 am

Brimstone butterfly

Brimstone butterfly
[Macro image of a female brimstone butterfly sitting on a green leaf, with lovely veined and spotted green wing underside on display.]

I am thrilled to have taken this photo. Brimstones visit our garden every summer, but I've never seen one actually have a lengthy rest in it, let alone allow me to get this close with my giant macro lens and pap it repeatedly.
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila2017-08-04 09:26 pm

Speckled bush cricket

Speckled bush cricket
[Macro image of speckled bush cricket sitting on the backs of my fingers.]

Made smol friend!

do not haste

snail

Wishing everyone a slow start into the new week!
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong2017-07-22 12:36 pm

SHREW

Yesterday I got to see a tiny shrew very close-up and it was very exciting.

So I was sitting on a muddy path in a wooded area because of reasons (ok, exhausted after climbing) when I saw movement and a tiny thing scurrying past me. I figured that glimpse was all I'd see, but I turned round to see where it'd gone and it was on the path on the other side of me, and with great caution so as not to startle it I managed to dig my phone out of my coat pocket:

longshot in which a tiny shrew may be visible among rocks and moss

(There's nothing to give a sense of scale, but the shrew is a few centimetres long. It makes mice look big.)

THEN --

Cut for blurry close-ups and blurry worm death )

Wood Pidgeon, York

I get the impression these are perfectly normal birds in the UK, but they're quite a novelty to me. Those fancy collars! There were three in the yard of the pub we stayed in, but they wouldn't sit still to be photographed. Here's one from the walk into town:

nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila2017-07-20 08:50 am

Tawny owl

Short-eared owl
[Grainy photo of a short-eared tawny owl sitting on a lawn]

I know this isn't the greatest photo of all time. In my defense, I did take it from behind a dusty windowpane in an upstairs bedroom where I was crouched breathlessly lest I frighten it off.

There've long been barn owls living at my partner's parents' home in rural Norfolk, but I'd never seen any other type of owl there. I was surprised, therefore, to see this tawny owl (h/t to [personal profile] shapinglight for corrected identification) sitting on their lawn at dusk a couple of weeks ago. I worked out that it was watching a group of four partridges who were pecking through the pebbles in the drive, closer to the house. They seemed a rather optimistic target, given that the owl wasn't much bigger than they were.

The owl flew off and returned to the lawn several times whilst I watched, but never made a move on the partridges, who eventually moved onto the roof of the house and over to the other side.
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong2017-07-18 08:16 pm

Pigeon!

I had to check the comm profile to try to decide if this was legit, as this was clearly not a wild pigeon; it was obviously someone's sleek, well-fed and well-cared-for homing/racing pigeon.

However, it was definitely "unsupervised", as it was hanging out at a gritstone crag eating bilberries and watching the climbers.

It wouldn't quite let people touch it, but was otherwise very comfortable with humans and happy to let you get very close.

I took a lot of photos of it trying to get a shot of the tags on its legs, as I was worried it was someone's beloved pet and lost. But when I got home, I found out that the "report a found pigeon" websites (they exist, naturally) say in rather weary tones not to even bother unless the pigeon's been around for at least 48 hours; apparently they like to take pit stops.

Pigeon with beautiful iridescent neck

Cut for more pigeon )
redsixwing: Two water lily leaves with smaller plants between (stems)
[personal profile] redsixwing2017-07-17 10:43 am

Insect Season

Cattails and water skippers in a local ditch.

skippers and cattails

A very vivid ladybug on a maple tree.

ladybug on maple
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila2017-07-17 04:18 pm

Great crested grebe

Urban great crested grebe nest
[Macro image of a great crested grebe sitting on its nest.]

I spotted this great crested grebe brooding on its nest in the canal at Westerdok in Amsterdam. I thought its nest was a remarkable construction: the usual twigs, but also bits of plastic rubbish, and finishing touches of hollyhock. I was also impressed by the two female mallard duck bodyguards who immediately rushed over when I started taking photos. They didn't quack, but eyed me up silently as they circled the nest at a careful distance.

We were staying on a barge nearby for three nights and I checked on the grebe morning and evening. I don't believe it stirred from the nest in that time, so hopefully soon there will be some freshly hatched urban grebes learning to navigate the Dutch canal system!