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Monday, September 1, 2008

Insects and Diggers

Last Thursday I did manage a couple of hours on the road, less birds than I’d hoped to see, yet the Sun was nice and warm with a bit of a rough breeze. This meant that many Wild Flowers were moving their beautiful heads a little too fast. Yet all those I did manage to shoot had a squatter of some kin. Most were Bees and a few Wasps or Hoover-flies also.
Of course there did the usual numbers of tourists also, need directions to certain parts on the peninsula or wider area too. Most solo males are French and most females German. Brits favour walking in small family groups I’ve yet to encounter an American tourist walking.
I also came upon 4 dug up areas; along the high backroad, 4 holes were dug by an animal, among the Montbretia, Nettles and Wild Carrot (no, too big for a Rabbit!) and I think this was in an effort to get underneath an electric fence. Behind the fence? A very large field. It looked like the culprits would have been the size of a Badger or a Fox. The question is why are there four, with 100cm in-between the dug up areas. And very much near a house too. The one nearest had its occupant enjoying the Sun, my meowing wasn’t up to scratch that day, as my cat had told me in the morning!
For Crow and Border Reiver I was delighted to get a couple of images of Hooded Crows four of which were basking in the Sun on top of the pier. An incoming fishing trawler scared them off and also a pair of Pied Wagtails, walking the walking the wall protecting drivers from going for a swim in the bay. What amazed me though was that no Heron, Blackheaded or any of the other Gulls were following the boat. These Wagtails love the water too. I often meet them here and yet they are always teasing me in flying off as soon as I get my Lumix out. Two of the four Hooded Crows were looking down on me from the streetlight, they had flown when the trawler approached the pier, with the other pair allowing me just one or two pictures from quite a distance and although I kept the camera in my hand, so I would be able to take one as soon as I had closed in a little, it was all I was going to get.

As I rode up the hill home, I realised I had not seen a single Butterfly, nor a Moth. I’d seen these about in a much stronger Wind before, and it had not been dull either.

Apart from this, back home I found a Moth the next day and took some more pictures of the Garden Spider which had taken occupancy of my window in the kitchen. This was awkward as I needed to clean my window on the outside if I wanted to keep photographing the birds in my garden. It had woven its web from side to side and after the rain of the last few days, I already had trouble getting clear images of those hauling as much food as possible, now they did not need to pose for herself behind that window.
I really liked the Garden Spider a lot, yet I also wanted to take advantage of the dry weather to wash this piece of glass.
I really did not want to dislocate this beauty, and in the end I managed to open the window inwards and when my creepy crawly had not run off nor the web loosened, I decided just to wash the corner I use most. This might explain the speckled background in the images of the web threads. I am still experimenting with my Lumix and this Spider and web bode another opportunity to see how detailed the in-built macro features are.
See for yourself. The trouble is that I’d rather go for much more detailed images, yet the big challenge would be how well I would be able to cope with a DSLR with just the one hand. Living as remote as we do, trying out in a shop would have to wait for a year at least! So that is not an option at the moment. Besides, money is the biggest problem, of course.

A little view down the high back roadInsects seemed to sit on every Wild FlowerWho has been diging here?
four Hooded Crows, 2 flew offOnly one pair of Mute Swans near the church of ireland.GardenSpider back home


  1. Great pictures Yoke. The crows are wonderful. Haven't seen a butterfly or dragonfly here for some time, guess the temperatures haven't been warm enough for them. Still lots of bees around though.

  2. Thanks, Crow. Yes, even with the long distance managed to get good Crow pictures. Had to crawl forward with cars passing like mad alongside me, urging me to go faster, but they had not seen the Hoodies!

    Lots of Bees and Wasps around though. And saw a swarm of Hoover-flies last week too. Also got good photos (for once, lol!) of this stunning orange Moth last night, just as I had posted the other pictures.
    Tonight I might get to publish those and a Junior first in Birding. If all goes to plan.

  3. Great stuff Yoke and thanks for putting the Hoodies on - they get everywhere these days, ha ha. Sadly though not down here in the SW of England.

  4. Thanks, Reiver. With Rooks, Jacks, Hoodies and (unwelcome) Magpies in the garden, I've ample opportunity to observe these Corvids; Hoodies are the only Crow Eire has. Although there might be a few Carrions on the East coast. Not here in the South West.
    I'll post Junior pics on the other blog, BirdingonWheels.


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