Tuesday 27 September 2022


I had a lot of fun this year searching for grasshoppers and crickets, it's amazing just how many there are, even in a small space near the garage I found four, one of them being the Blue Winged Grasshopper, Trimerotropis cyaneipennis.

The Blue Winged Grasshopper owes its name to the bright blue hind wings, which can only be seen when the grasshopper is in flight. The hind wings that are used in flight, fold like a Japanese fan, accordion-like, when not in use, concealed beneath the tegmina. The grasshopper is most common in rugged mountainous terrain, and cryptic when resting among rocks. Besides the blue wings, they can be identified in part by the bright blue shin segment of the hind leg. They don't actually fly, but can glide several metres, and they are incredibly beautiful in flight, much more like a butterfly than a grasshopper. I never have been able to photograph one in flight.

You can see a little of the blue shin segment in this and the next image.

Juvenile Egyptian Locust

It doesn't look at all like the adult, but the vertical striped eyes are the same

The adult Egyptian Locust

The Bush Cricket.

They are usually browner in colour, but surprisingly this one was red. 

Side and back view of an extremely large Great Green Bush Cricket.

Extremely small grasshopper, which I have found hard to ID, and also the subsequent images.

Even smaller cricket.

 A tiny cricket enlarged several times.

 Another grasshopper, and all these insects were found in the garden and on the farm. With time I hope to find out all their names.   

Finishing with some balcony birds.

Friday 23 September 2022


Some time ago, I was walking near a neighbouring farm when I saw a mare with its foal in a partly cleared field. The light was fading but golden, and today I am sharing just a few photos of this delightful scene, and a few other encounters with nature. This will be a short post, as my computer is still giving me a hard time.


It had been a long time since I had seen so many Sparrows.

This Lark was in the same field, which I nearly passed by, although in full view, its colouring was almost the same as the ground, in which it lay.

I took this photo one day when I went a ride in my daughters' car.

Nearer home a few wildflowers caught my attention.

Friday 16 September 2022

THE CRESTED TIT Lophophanes cristatus

So far, I have had my fair share of ups and downs this month, The chemist gave me the wrong medication, which looked exactly like the box I had just finished but was in fact a much stronger dose than I needed. It was my daughter Eva who discovered the cause for the stomach cramps I had been suffering for over two weeks and phoned me immediately she found out. When I stopped taking it, those awful pains subsided. Another downer was a visit to the eye specialist who told me I have Cataracts in both eyes, the reason for my blurred vision. My computer went berserk and drove me to distraction for a number of days, and my mouse refused to work, so I did what I always do, when I'm a little stressed, I sat out on my balcony, and watched the birds, and even took these photos of the cute Crested tit.

It started raining at last, and has rained heavily all week, something to be thankful for, and we have even had a few sunny periods in between, but whatever else may have happened, which I won't go into now, I can always rely on my lovely balcony birds to turn up each morning, which gives me enormous pleasure. They are usually of the Tit species, and I love them all, but there is one that I have a particular penchant for and that is the Crested tit.

Crest up or down, immature or mature, I am privileged to see the Crested Tit every day of the year and hear its happy call. The trilling sound alerts me to their presence before I see them. They are not a colourful bird, like the Blue tit, but they are so distinctive with the black markings round their little faces and black collar, black eyes and beak, and their wonderful head crest.

Tuesday 6 September 2022

THE MALE and FEMALE BLACK REDSTART phoenicuras ochruros

The next two photos are rather dark, because they were taken late one afternoon. They are of the male Black redstart eating a worm.

It is a pity that the orange tail in almost all of these shots is hardly visible.

A small section of the orange tail is visible here.

The Female Black redstart. You can clearly see the orange tail here.

Sometimes it is even difficult to see the facial fetchers of the male, because of it's jet black face.

A female Black redstart.

Black redstarts are widespread throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa. Their breeding season starts in May and usually ends in June. I have seen very few this year, fewer than in previous years. In the image above you can see one on my balcony. It came to see why other birds were flying to and from my balcony, but it didn't stay long. Photo taken in July of this year.                
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