Saturday, 18 July 2009

Saturday 18th.July 2009

Firstly , a big thank you to Dean for pointing me in the right direction , to identify the 3 insects on yesterday's post . The fly with the large ruby eyes , identified by Dean as a Soldier Fly , I believe might be Sargus bipunctatus . The large black fly attacking the other insect , that I have seen may times , but never associated it as a Robber Fly , I believe Efferia aestuans . I should have got this one as I photographed a relation , Asilus crabroniformis , a really viciuos looking specimen , at Steers Field near Dorking . The prey of the Robber Fly I believe is a Leafhopper , Cicadella viridis . Thanks to Dean , I can now sleep tonight .
Today , we had a family birthday barbecue , so time out was very limited , I was cooking . Apologies for any one fed up with Purple Hairstreak pictures , but there is a good story that goes with these ones . I spent just one hour fifteen minutes in the Ash tree glade up on the Common , and was lucky enough to have several PHs come down onto lower vegetation whilst I was there .
The first two just sat closed winged , but did allow me to get in close , before either being blown off or disturbed by other insects . A couple of females came down and sunned themselves open winged . Eventually , a male descended , but sat with wings tight shut , but during a long cloudless period , he did almost open his wings fully for a few shots . Not the best position to get the full purple sheen , but beggars can't be choosers , and I couldn't get around the other side of him without disturbing him . Whilst waiting for him to open his wings , I noticed a Wren and a Robin 'ticking' in the woodland behind the Ash . I assumed that either a Fox or a Corvid was giving them some grief . I'm photographing the PH with the camera on a monopod , when , calm as you like , less than 10 mtrs. away from me , a male Roe Deer saunters out of the woodland , without a sound . I froze , the camera was set for close up shots , and I daren't move to change the settings . He looks over towards me , and I keep perfectly still . He carries on browsing , occasionally looking back at me . Whilst he wasn't looking , I managed to change the camera settings , and start taking shots of him . He strolled through the glade , looking as if he didn't have a care in the world . I managed to get seven shots of him , before he disappeared back into the woodland , as quietly as he appeared . The amazing thing is that the Common is just four miles out of Bromley , surrounded by built up areas , not out in the middle of the countryside .
Another male PH posed for a short time , but I still couldn't get the reflected sheen as I would have liked , perhaps next time .
The weather forecast was not good for the barbecue , but , someone was looking after us , as we ate outside , spent the afternoon in the garden , and it wasn't until everyone left and we got cleared up , that the clouds rolled in and it started to rain .


Warren Baker said...

One of them fortunate encounters greenie, makes it all worth while getting out.

I don't get fed up with PH's, as you can probably tell!

Anonymous said...

Only too pleased to have pointed you in the right direction, Greenie.

Some great subjects you have today. I would love to get a photo of a Roe Deer. Well captured.

ShySongbird said...

I'm definitely not fed up with PHs. It amazes me how you always see something of interest, we were walking in what should have been the perfect habitat for butterflies yesterday, there were wild flowers galore, nettles and lots of Buddleia which had, I think, escaped from a derelict electricity sub station. There was not one butterfly to be seen anywhere! Admittedly the sun deserted us and there was a brisk wind but I did think I might have seen something :(

You did really well with the Deer, the photos are lovely.

Kingsdowner said...

Having seen you in action, carefully stalking snakes and insects, I can understand why the deer was unconcerned.
You won't go hungry when the food runs out!