Friday, 26 July 2013

Whixal Moss bug hunt May 7th

For a change I am going on a bug hunt today, haven't really been out to my usual walk sites since getting Mollster , so today I have left her home alone and am heading to Whixal Moss in Shropshire to hopefully photograph the Green Hairstreak butterflies.  it is a few weeks later than the last few years but after the prolonged winter everything is much later emerging this year.

Having arrived at the round house car park I quickly make my way down the track towards the mosses, out of the corner of my eye I have just spotted something flying, a large red damselfly, my first of the year. I soon found where it perched and have managed to take this single frame sitting on my finger before it flew of out of sight.   a great start to the day, but I am a bit rusty with the mpe-65 macro lens not having used it in a long time.

The main path runs out onto the mosses and there are two good Green Hairstreak areas further out towards the small pools., I have just walked out of the wood into the open scrub and almost immediately have spotted a Green Hairstreak , I have never seen one this close to the wood , I rush towards where it has landed and manage to get a single shot before it flies off over the ditch and I cannot follow!

I am so happy to get a shot already , not expecting to see them in this spot i am now keeping a good look out in all likely spots.  its really bleak on the mosses , still very brown with little greenery

         a rustling in the dead bracken nearby caught my attention , here is the culprit   a lizard!

Moving quickly on to a known hot spot for hairstreaks i have had a good search and spotted Nothing!  very strange not to find any here. but there is a better area over on the other side of the mosses along the canal so i am going to go for a long walk and see what i can find.

The canal is looking lovely this morning , but have not seen anything so far, not even miner bees which should be feeding on all the dandelion flowers , just where the mosses path joins the towpath i have just spotted what can only be a Holly Blue butterfly , it is a good area for them all along this part of the canal. there are two of them and i have to get down on the ground to get this image. but missed good focus on the wings.  it then perched on a leaf just above the ground!   they are not making it easy for me today that's for sure.

                        a field of dandelions , looks great.  but no butterflies?   odd!

i am now walking across the mosses to see what i can find, the drainage ditches have been recently cleared out and looks like the sluices are being renovated also.

there are loads of birds tweeting, i managed to get this shot with the macro lens, it is a big crop though.  it is a male Wheatear.

arriving back in the area where the Hairstreak was earlier i have now spotted two of them, chasing them along the path i have manged to shoot a few images, this is the only image in focus!  really do need more practise!

               a good shot to finish with , its been an interesting day and a good walk .

            all shots taken with canon 5d mk2 , 100mm L macro & mpe-65 macro lens

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