Well, yesterday really.
It is quite humid today but pleasantly warm with a bit of wind so I take my camera out for a stroll through the forest. I am actually homing in on the buzzards, which are hanging out in nearby trees and hope to get a decent photo. As it turns out, I neither see them nor hear them.
A poor shot I captured early this morning (see below) does not look like a typical buzzard as there seems to be too much white and the wing feathers look more like an eagle’s than a buzzard, so I am wondering what else it might be. I have seen red kites here but they are easy to spot with their forked tails and distinctive wings. It’s clearly not a kite. Any ideas?
I descend halfway down the mountain on a pathway overgrown with ferns. The birds are silent, it’s just after lunch and probably not the best time to venture out in search of wildlife. However once I reach the dirt track a butterfly catches my attention. Is it a butterfly or a moth, I am not sure but it is certainly not one I have seen before.
Moth or butterfly?
It has dramatic black and white markings on top with red underneath. I decide to focus on butterflies but miss several interesting red ones, which could have been tortoiseshells or the one above. There were some small white butterflies and the ever present brimstones.
These very small blue butterflies are out and about today, but being so small they present quite a challenge to photograph. Still, I am given ample opportunities and manage a few photos.
They have iridescent blue wings on the top side and underneath a more traditional butterfly pattern.
On my return leg I disturb an animal. I can tell by the noise as it flees that it is something interesting and not just a squirrel or mouse, it’s too loud for that and not loud enough to be a deer or wild boar. I peer into the undergrowth not expecting to see much but then I see it. A fleeting glimpse of a small short haired animal about the size of a small dog, rust coloured with short ears and legs, scampering away. I wonder what it could be as I have never seen such an animal before.
I was going to ignore this cute young black restart but it seemed determined to remain on the log so I took some shots anyway and it posed nicely, changing its head position, just like a photo model. Black redstarts are more common here than sparrows and no wonder they usually have five chicks and two broods a year is not unusual.
Finally, this was probably a young fieldfare taken a few weeks ago in the valley. There seem to be many young birds around at present, rather late in the year I feel. Even the ducks last week had chicks that looked just a few days old. Is this the result of climate change or just my imagination.