דצמבר 17, 2021

Donna Nook Grey Seal Colony, Marsh Lane, Donna Nook, Louth, UK

Today I went to the Grey Seal Colony at Donna Nook. It was a very foggy day and most of my photos appear to have a 'haze' on them. Well, in fact, they did. It was around 4 C but not windy. The seals were not plentiful, but also the crowds of people were not plentiful. I spent a relaxed few hours strolling along the fenceline.

I got several interesting photos besides just the seals. The first was a cow which was helping her pup molt. the other was a Caspian Gull which was feeding on the carcass of a dead pup. Nature is so very interesting. Great day out!

פורסם ב דצמבר 17, 2021 05:59 אחה"צ על־ידי perkpenn perkpenn | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

יוני 03, 2021

Owly Sulphurs - 31 May 2021

I went walking at Voutenay-sur-Cure, France, along a field type road. In the parking lot, there were a multitude of Owly Sulphur. Everywhere I looked, they were zinging by in flight and then alighting on stems of grass. I chased one down and took several photos of it. I then marched on and chased another one down and took a photo of it! I have ended up with 6 distinct specimens from different areas on the walk and at different times.

The weather was perfect. I got to the start point at about 11:00 and it was already 23 C. The sun was out, but not so sunny that it was stifling. There was a cool breeze every now and then.

פורסם ב יוני 03, 2021 04:41 אחה"צ על־ידי perkpenn perkpenn | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

פברואר 19, 2021

19th February 2021 - Timarcha goettingensis Explosion

Today I went for a walk (10km) near the village of Bessy-sur-Cure in the Yonne department of France. As we approached the village on a paved road, I began to see multiple examples of Timarcha goettingensis. I have uploaded 13 observations. The beetles were evident all through the village and out the other end. After that, I did not see anymore.

The weather was warm 17 C, sunny, warm, fresh. It was quite spectacular to see the population explosion of these lovely little beetles.

פורסם ב פברואר 19, 2021 06:11 אחה"צ על־ידי perkpenn perkpenn | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה

ספטמבר 02, 2020

Zygaena fausta - multiple examples on the 1st of September

On the 27th of August, I was part of a long hike (randonnée gourmand) which wended through the dirt roads and fields of the Nièvre area of France. During that walk and in one stretch of the road, there were wildflowers on either side of the road. I, of course, looked for signs of insect life and noted that there were several ‘new’ moths represented. I took a photo with my telephone and sent it onto @philipmarkosso who correctly identified it as Zygaena fausta (possibly subspecies ‘perornata Le Charles’). I had not seen that moth before, but then I was 1.5 hours south of my home near the village of Dornecy.
‘In Burgundy, it is traditionally well represented in the Jurassic limestone zone of the South of Yonne and the Dijon Mountain, as well as throughout the Burgundy coast; it reaches its limit of continuous distribution towards the northeast of the region (very localized in the south of Haute-Marne, and unknown in Haute-Saône). A few satellite populations, very localized and tenuous, with very reduced gene exchanges, exist in Sénonais (Yonne) and Nivernais.’ Quoting Ref: http://www.bourgogne-nature.fr/fichiers/bnhs13-cahiers-ld-p438-439-zygene-de-la-petite-coronille_1455790175.pdf
I decided to go back to that very spot yesterday, 1st of September, to see if I could get a proper photo with my camera instead of the telephone. Indeed, I noted numerous specimens all over the Knautia arvensis and Centaurea. I have uploaded 11 examples of this moth.
The day was not hot (about 20 C), with very little wind but was sunny. No rain. The road was a dirt road with fields of sunflowers on one side and a grain field on the other side (both already harvested) with the flowery vegetation on either side of the road. Besides the moths, there were numerous butterfly species represented, ie, Colias croceus, Brintesia circe, Polyommatus icarus and Issoria lathonia.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 02, 2020 08:25 לפנה"צ על־ידי perkpenn perkpenn | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

נובמבר 08, 2019

Grue Migration 2019

Whilst sitting, drinking my coffee this morning at 8:02 am, I heard the unmistakeable cacophony of the Common Crane (Gru) overhead. I dashed out of the boat with my telephone to take photos and one recording. This is the annual migration of the Gru from Scandinavia to Spain. I am privileged to be living right under the flight path they take every year.

There were 3-4 flights flying at the same time and directly over the marina where we are moored. They continued in wave after wave until almost 9:00 am when they slowed to a trickle. The last flight that I saw was at 11:09 am. Our outside temperature was 2 C but the skies were blue with no clouds.

I checked my observations and found that 8 months ago, I saw them going in the opposite direction.

פורסם ב נובמבר 08, 2019 10:51 לפנה"צ על־ידי perkpenn perkpenn | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

מרץ 16, 2018

Wall Walking

Wall walking came to me because central France is wintery, cold, windy and there is nothing flying, crawling or available to the budding photographer. I discovered that there is a plethora of insects which happily crawl the walls of the pastel buildings in my region and so began my wall walking quest. I carefully creep along on the pavements, making sure that I don't step into traffic and I am off – wall walking again.

As my passion developed, I began to discern what attracted the most subjects. The outside temperature and whether or not the sun shone on the buildings was the first thing I considered. With dipping temperatures, if the sun is shining, there will still be a few brave souls crawling along. Of course, I had to consider whether or not I might suffer frost bite along the way.

The building materials used in construction also dictated what might be out and about. I found that rough surfaces which make mobility an issue were devoid of my subjects. Peaks and valleys make it difficult for critters to move along, so stubbly, ripply stucco, though fashionable, is out of the question. Just keep walking to the next edifice.

The colouring of the outside of the buildings makes a difference. Dark colours tend not to produce many insects. The pastels are great – especially pink to rose. White is fine, but can give the novice photographer problems with exposures. I have had many a photo ruined because it was too light. Rarely because it was too dark.

Half walls that but up against some form of vegetation can be fruitful. Remembering that insects need to be able to make a quick exit lead me to keep my eyes out for hedges, overhanging trees, plants that were sprouting up along a wall and small, postage-stamp walled in parks.

Using common sense is important and I usually try to do so. Taking photos along the walls of prisons, schools, police stations, or banks is probably not such a good plan. Let that very interesting specimen go rather than find yourself on CCTV being arrested! Also, care must be taken around playgrounds and primary schools.

Respecting private property is a must! Open windows can be a cause for concern as the inhabitants can generally hear the click of the camera. I have had more than one person poke their head out and ask what I thought I was doing. When I tell them that I am taking pictures of spiders and insects, they often join in and point out what they see. I have had more than one European Firebug pointed out and I felt obliged to photo their find.

Along those same lines, I was crouched one day with my camera nearly on the wall taking a picture of a springtail when a car drove up and a man and woman (French speaking) asked what I was doing. They found it hilarious when I told them and drove off in fits of laughter.

Ah, but spring has come to central France . . . so have the insects of flight . . . now the dilemma . . . 'wall' walk or 'vegetation' walk???

פורסם ב מרץ 16, 2018 01:25 אחה"צ על־ידי perkpenn perkpenn | 3 comments | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 02, 2018

Very Small Things

I have taken to walking around Auxerre village with my camera in tow (wall walking). The walls of many of the buildings here are smooth plaster/cement with pastel colouring. As a result, I can usually find an appropriate subject for my lens. However, most of the insects that I find are between 3-5 mm. Very, very small. My lens and my abilities are stretched to get as much detail as possible.

I find them totally interesting - beetles, spiders, things that go bump in the night.

So, I shall continue to spend my winter, blurry-eyed but happy as I continue to explore the walls of Auxerre.

פורסם ב ינואר 02, 2018 08:11 לפנה"צ על־ידי perkpenn perkpenn | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה

ספטמבר 03, 2017

Jardins des Plantes - Paris

Today, the 3rd of September, I was in Paris and decided to visit the Jardins to see what insect life might be out there. At first, I was in the wrong area so there was little to see. Perhaps a controlled environment will not have much because of pesticides?? I eventually wandered into the are where there were flowers! Score! I found my favourites - the crab spiders. I also nailed a common Blue butterfly (male). I will have to wait a week whilst I am in Norway before seeing if the photos have had the correct exposures!

פורסם ב ספטמבר 03, 2017 05:46 אחה"צ על־ידי perkpenn perkpenn | 4 comments | הוספת תגובה