Monday, May 29, 2006

Blue Tailed Damsels

Some shots of Blue Tailed Damselfly taken at Whisby Nature Park, Lincoln this morning, between the heavy hale and rain showers.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

More Marsh Fritillaries

A few more of this beautiful butterfly..

Marsh Frits and Dingy Skips

Marsh Fritillary

Dingy Skipper

An afternoon yesterday at Chamber's Wood, Lincolnshire with Mark Bibby resulted in us finding at least 20 Marsh Fritillaries and at least 5 Dingy Skippers and being relatively new to the world of butterflies, these were new species for me. Some photos of each are posted above. An interesting change of light on the some of the shots.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Kefalonia, Greece: 18th to 25th May 2006 - the birds...the red rumps

Red Rumped Swallows, a bird I am still yet to catch up with in the UK, proved to be the star performer during the week at Katelios. Several pairs were present and showed extremely well, sometimes flying within feet of us. Above are a selection of my favourite Red Rumped shots including a few (poor) attempts at flight shots, although hirrundines are not the easiest to photograph in flight.

Kefalonia, Greece: 18th to 25th May 2006 - the birds...the stints

Three Little Stints were present all week feeding on the algal bloom at the river mouth on Katelios beach and at times proved very obliging. Above is my favourite 10 photos of these cracking little waders.

Kefalonia, Greece: 18th to 25th May 2006 - the birds...ruff and dead bits


Little Bittern - found dead in a drain at the bottom of apartment garden

Kefalonia, Greece: 18th to 25th May 2006 - the birds...egrets and gulls

Yellow Legged Gull

Little Egrets

Kefalonia, Greece: 18th to 25th May 2006 - the birds...

Female sparrow sp. from the same population as the male below.

Possible Spanish x House Sparrow hybrid. Both pure Spanish and pure House Sparrows were seen during the week but a small population (of which only males could be compared) frequenting a specific area of the valley showed characteristics of hybridisation between the two species which is apparently well known to occur. Note the grey crown and level of black streaking on the underparts reminiscent of House Sparrow, but also the white facial cheeks, prominent white supercilium, hefty bill and pattern of black streaking on the mantle indicating some Spanish genes.

Sardinian Warbler - record shot

Woodchat Shrike - did not prove obliging for photos at all!

Crested Lark

Kefalonia, Greece: 18th to 25th May 2006 - the birds..

Katelios proved a cracking place for birding. Even though the majority of migration had ceased with the exception that the mouth of the stream along Katelios Beach proved very attractive for waders with 3 Little Stints, a single Ruff and a Little Ringed Plover being seen during the week.

The majority of the breeding birds were well into the breeding season and common birds through the week proved to include Scops Owl (only heard), Woodchat Shrike, Black Headed Bunting, Crested Lark, Olivaceous Warbler, Red Rumped Swallow, Yellow Legged Gull, Cirl and Corn Buntings, Jay and Turtle Dove. Other common birds in the area included Collared Dove, Swift, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, House Martin, Swallow, Blackbird and Great Tit.

Some single sightings of species during the week included that of Night Heron, Eleonara's Falcon, Red Footed Falcon, Peregrine, a flock of 8 Alpine Swift, Little Ringed Plover, Whinchat, Spanish Sparrow, Nightingale, Red Backed Shrike, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Eared Wheatear, Marsh Harrier, and Blue Headed Wagtail. I also found a single dead Littern Bittern in some reeds at the bottom of the apartment garden. Bee-eater was also seen during the last three days in the morning passing through the valley, a small passage possibly coinciding with the weather front from the south.

In addition, on close scrutiny of the Sparrows in Katelios, many of the ones in the more rural areas showed definite signs of hybridisation between House and Spanish Sparrow and the common features of both can be seen in the photographs to follow later. A number of bird photos are included in the following posts.

Kefalonia, Greece: 18th to 25th May 2006 - the butterflies......

Scarce Swallowtail

Two-tailed Pasha

Mallow Skipper