Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The children have broken up from school and the heat wave has come to an end. Over the last few days some monstrous rainclouds have passed our way creating some dramatic skies. My landscape photography skills are pretty minimal and I don't think I do justice to the ominous skies that we have had recently. Time to get out and practice then.....
July has been rather quiet on the bird front but there are still a huge amount of winged critters on the islands to keep the eye busy.
This is a Comma butterfly and the first one I have ever noticed on Scilly. They are not the rarest of creatures but are a nice deviation from the usual butterflies we host over here.
The butterfly gets it's name from the single white mark on the underside of it's wing. These butterflies are now making a very fast comeback across the whole of the British Isles after declining down to only a couple of small pockets in England. If you don't see them in your local area now you may soon. Or you can come and find this one, he's over here somewhere! 

There seems to be so many butterflies over here at the moment, I don't know if this is a particularly good year for them but I have never noticed so many before. The above is a Painted Lady feeding away on one of the many wild flowers in bloom here. These can be seen all over the island but they tend to like Ivy's and fern mostly. I don't really think I need to patronise by telling you where to spot them as they are pretty obvious in flight! 

Here are some other butterflies and moths you can find when wandering.
Speckled Wood
Common Blue
Silver Y (moth)
Six Spot Burnet (Moth)
As expected our migrant waders have started to arrive on the island and are making the most of the mudbanks around the two pools and occasionally the shoreline. Annoyingly they always seem to be that little bit too far away for me to get a decent close up picture. Anyway below are a couple of shots of our first visitors.

These Greenshanks have stopped off to see us on there way to Africa. Being waders they can be spotted anywhere mud loving crustaceans dwell.
We have also played host to a variety of Sandpipers, Green, Wood and Common types have all been seen in the last few weeks. The above picture, I believe, is of a Wood Sandpiper. These are fairly rare passerines. After breeding in Northern Europe they too decide to spend their Winters in Africa too.
I went for a walk a few days ago and, even on Tresco there wasn't too much to see. However just as I got home I saw a supportive parent feeding a baby Greenfinch. I thought it was rather nice. I don't usually like taking pictures when the light isn't brilliant as my skills are not really good enough to adapt to it but I thought the slightly dull light made the colour on either finch stand out more.

I think I was spotted in the last shot!
The only other picture of note was this:
The eater was about the size of a peanut and seemed quite content with the nasty looking dinner.

About two weeks ago I bought a tripod and a remote timer to try and take some pictures of the night sky. Since then the skies have pretty much cloudy ever since. I think it's my fault. Needless to say the new bits and pieces are gathering dust in the corner. I took these two pictures with one of these new fandangled super zoom cameras and, in order to be diplomatic I think I need to say it takes a better moon picture than I think i'll be able to get with my own camera! The Scillies are well known for their clear night skies. Sometimes is worth looking up on the way home from the pub...
Pentle Bay looking busy in the height of the Summer



  1. I think the whole country is experiencing a butterfly population explosion...and it's great. The warm and still weather must have helped, so lets hope next years population will increase too. There are loads of commas here and it's been years since I've seen any. I love the Greenshanks image. Greenfinch chick being fed has come out so well and to catch it in succession like that is even better. Moon shots-my camera wont capture that detail either sadly.

  2. Once again thank you for your comments. The butterflies have added a splash of colour amongst what is a very colourful island already here!

  3. More wonderful pictures .. especially love the greenfinches.