Wednesday, 23 July 2014

On his Look-out


The Buzzard   Buteo buteo










Two young buzzards hovered over the fields for a few weeks hunting for prey. They moved away when the corn became too tall for them to see the ground. They always perched on the telegraph poles and wires,which don't make pretty pictures,but it was the only way I could take a few photos.

This post is included in the WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY initiative by Stewart M and the blog Paying Ready Attention - Photo Gallery

Saturday, 19 July 2014

A Hunting We Will Go


The Ocellated Lizard has been very active in the garden, hunting for insects, but also sunbathing and resting in the shade.



When the temperature rises they come out of their hiding places, and hunt, sometimes in pairs, or with their young.


They are particularly green and blue at this time of the year and  their colouration increases with bright sunlight.



As usual I have taken far too many photos for one post , so I'll devide them up and make a few posts to show you.


I can't seem to get enough of these guys, and am often surprised at how large they can be, almost like little crocodiles.
It's Europes largest lizard, measuring 1-2ft long, but they may reach 3ft in length.

Having to cut their tails off the photos is a shame, but it's the only way to get a closer shot.


I think this must be a mother with her youngster. It was fun watching them hunting, and seeing their long tongues flick out .My husband and I befriended a young Ocellated lizard years ago, and we named him George. He became quite tame, but when we returned from holiday one time,he had disapeared. We never discovered what happened to him.:(



Resting under the chair I had been sitting on moments before. they watch and wait for any sign of a snack.
 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Composed Cormorant.


The Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo











  


There are three large lakes in the park near where we live, and on an outing last year I saw this fabulous Cormorant calmly surveying the water in one of the lakes, and later taking a swim in another. It was the first time I had actually seen one in the wild, and it was a real treat.


This post is included in the WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY initiative by Stewart M and the blog Paying Ready Attention - Photo Gallery

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Pond


I see you!


There you are!

 

A lucky find.










Our Pond

There are still Newts here,


Another picture of our pond.


Visiters fly in from time to time.







Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Timid Turtle Dove

Turtle Dove  Streptopelia turtur











This shy and watchful dove has given me the slip several times.It comes here every summer, but winters in tropical Africa.Too distant to get very clear shots, so these are the best I could do. This post is included in the WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY initiative by Stewart M and the blog Paying Ready Attention - Photo Gallery

Friday, 4 July 2014

Fast Flyer Continued

The male Broad-bodied libelula    Libelula Depressa

The day after I saw the female Libellula depressa, a male appeared, and as the female was still there, quite soon after the conjoined pair mated in mid air. Although I tried without success to follow them around, it was too difficult to photograph the act.  I would not have thought it possible for them to mate whilst flying, ... but perhaps this is not as unusual as it seemed!!


 

The male waited around for a few days, but the female left as soon as the sexual act was consumated, and did not return.

 

"Still waiting"

 

As they are around from May to August, there is still a chance I'll see more of these small dragonflies this year, ...hope so!.


  
In my excitement about seeing the Hoopoe, I forgot about posting this follow-up to the female Libellula depressa, so here it is.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Crest at Rest 2

A Juvenile Hoopoe   Upupa epops






  





















Driving to market last Thursday I disturbed a small Hoopoe, which flew over the wall and into the next field.It was too far away to get really clear images, but better these than none, as they are the first sightings I've had all year.They arrive here in mid March every year, and I was so pleased to see this juvenile, which means that they successfully reared at least one young Hoopoe. Both sexes are alike, pale reddish-buff with striking black and white wing and tail barring. The crest is rarely raised, except on landing.


This post is included in the WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY initiative by Stewart M and the blog Paying Ready Attention - Photo Gallery

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Fast Flyer


The female Broad-bodied libélula     Libellula depressa  

The young male also looks like this female but the mature male is blue. I know this one is a female because I saw it mating.Although the female  is classified as being brown, she was decidedly more yellow looking than brown, with lighter yellow markings down sides of her abdomen. 
This fast flying darter alighted on a garden marker, which is near the fish pond especially for this purpose. It attracts all kinds of dragonflies to it's warm wooden surface. She seemed to be waiting ( perhaps for a mate) and thankfully  a male  appeared the next day. As I took too many photos for one post, I will show you the male of the species on my next post.

 
 She left the marker only a few times to hunt, but always returned to the same place. She looked in my direction several times, but my close proximity didn't seem to bother her. I think she had other things on her mind!:))


 
Although I didn't noticed she may even have started her existence in the pond, as and they do prefere to breed in garden ponds or similar bodies of water.


 

Both the male and the female have very broad abdómens, and all wings are brown at the base.

 

The wing span is (76mm) and the length is 45 mm. It's not a large dragonfly but it's a pretty little thing, especially when  the wings shimmer in the bright sunlight.

 
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