Monday 2 April 2012

After work this afternoon, as it was sunny and warm, I decided to switch to a 300mm lens and track down some butterflies, while of course keeping an eye on the birdlife  :-)

I headed for the sheltered hedgerow that runs the length of the Tree Nursery, and straight away found a Small Tortioseshell, actually it was the same one from yesterday, a tatty specimen. Three GREEN WOODPECKERS flew up as I traversed the hedgerow, BLUE TITS, DUNNCKS and WRENS flitted about, and a CHIFFCHAFF called from a nearby large garden, looking ahead of me I saw a large butterfly coming straight at me, as it grew closer, then flitted past and ever onwards, I saw it was a lovely sulphur coloured male Brimstone, my first this year, I watched in despair as it flew miles away, yet again i've not got a Brimstone photo, will i ever get one of this species ? :-) I reached the end of the hedge and then made my way back again, all the time watching a KESTREL hunting over the adjacent Greenhouse grounds, then came what I was looking for, a pristine male Orange tip, I followed it all round the Tree Nursery for some minutes, before it crossed the road and went over to the Greenhouse Grounds, I was in hot pursuit however! The Orange Tip being much more mobile than me was lost to view for a time, but I soon found it again, flitting around one of the glasshouses, where it settled on a dandelion head, once again I crept over to it, and this time got some reasonable photo's, the wind blowing it around didn't help!
Orange Tip - shame all the grass got in the way!
Orange Tip. Not the best set of photo's, but there should be time for a better effort on another day. Mind you, they are only around until end of May
Orange Tip
Orange Tip
After a few shots, it flitted off again, and I left it to go on its way, a quick scan off the habitat around the grounds didn't provide any exciting migrant birds, just the usual BLACKBIRDS, SONGTHRUSH, PIED WAGTAIL more Wrens and Dunnocks and a pair of ROBINS. A Small White butterfly, then a more impressive Red Admiral flitted past me, not stopping for a photo though.

I went over to my seat at Migrant Alley and scanned the fence lines and paddocks, but no Wheatear were seen, so i again made my way back to the Tree Nursery, where I found two more Butterfly species, a Comma and a Holly Blue - 7 species for an early April day is good for my patch!

Whilst sitting and waiting for something to happen, something did happen, a superb male PEREGRINE FALCON ( 51) flew over, quite high up, and as I watched it, a BUZZARD drifted into view, and came quite close to me, shame I only had the 300mm lens on today, I took a photo of it anyway  :-)
One of five Common Buzzards seen this afternoon
The Buzzard then soared away, ever higher, where I was amazed to see it join four more circling high up, with them was a SPARROWHAWK! Four raptor species in two hours is some going for my patch!


Phil said...

Those Orange Tips are stunning butterflies Warren. Shame about the Brimstone, the only two i've seen so far this year, both in the garden, shot by like express trains.

Warren Baker said...

Every year my aim is to get a Brimstone photo, and every year I fail!

Rohrerbot said...

We have Orange Tips here and I love them this time of year. Photos help to narrate the story and they don't always have to be perfect....but I think they're pretty good from my POV. Hope all is well. Chris

Mark said...

Love the Orange tips Warren, must get a photo myself asap, and would love to get a Brimstone pic, saw my first last week

Marc Heath said...

Nice shots Warren. You have done well here. I hope as well to get some shots of these cracking butterflies in the next few weeks.

Alan Pavey said...

Great photos Warren, the Orange tip shots are great and really like that Buzzard :-)

Pete Woodruff said... the new header too Warren.

Wilma said...

I really like how the grass in the first photo of the orange tip gives the viewer the perspective of peering through the vegetation as if in pursuit of prey.

Jason K said...

Warren...I would settle for those photos. In fact I would settle for an Orange Tip! not a sniff of one at Shenstone yet

ShySongbird said...

Well done with the lovely photos of the Orange Tip Warren. I have yet to see one this year. You should actually see them until about the middle of June and I think very occasionally they can have a second brood which emerges in July.

I haven't even seen a Brimstone whizzing past this time, last year I did at the end of February!!

Ken. said...

You mention about the quality of the Orange Tip, but they look very good to me.
That was a great count Raptors in one walk.
Good luck with the Brimstone, I am sure you will get your photo real soon.