Sunday, 24 July 2016

Tadmarton Heath: two pairs of ears

two young Roe Deer sat in the grass at Tadmarton Heath
I've grabbed a few opportunities to get out in the field in the past few days, checking out a few off-the -beaten track sites.  I have "bumped into" a lot of Roe Deer on my travels, most memorable were these two youngsters sat in the long grass at Tadmarton Heath BOS nature reserve. Eventually my presence spooked them and the hidden doe Roe Deer led them off down the hillside.
Four spotted Chaser, ponds near Helmdon, Northamptonshire
Sharp-leaved Fluellen, arable fields near Otmoor (a tiny flower)
Sharp-leaved Fluellen, arable fields near Otmoor (a tiny flower)
Sneezewort, Asham Meads, Otmoor
Marbled White butterfly nectaring on Devils-bit Scabious, Asham Meads

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Beautiful and Banded demoiselle damselflies

Male Beautiful Demoiselle, Mid Cherwell Valley
Banded Demoiselle - male displaying his wings and "tail light" Upper Cherwell Valley
Pair of Beautiful Demoiselles, female on the right, Mid Cherwell Valley
Male Banded Demoiselle, near Wendlebury
The first warm summer weather of the year has inspired me to post a few photos of our two gorgeous Calopteryx damselflies, currently on the wing along our rivers.  These images were taken over the past six weeks in various locations in the local area.

The River Cherwell supports healthy populations of both species, and in some places they occur together. The Banded Demoiselle C. splendens is much the commoner and often occurs in quite large numbers.  The Beautiful Demoiselle C. virgo, in my experience, tends to prefer the Middle and Upper Cherwell and is most common in the upper reaches.

Although July is traditionally a quiet month for birding, there are lots of young birds around andt is a good time to catch up with the juveniles.  As they are learning the ropes they can be quite confiding - like this Green Woodpecker at Bicester Wetland Reserve this morning - one of two feeding on the mown verge beside the entrance road.
Green Woodpecker - juvenile