Friday, 11 September 2009

Flicks and Flutters for Friday

One of the Magpies has returned to the garden area after an absence of several weeks. Even when it cannot be seen I know it is there. It seems as though it chatters and chunters to itself all the time. For a while I have been trying to film it but Magpies are so shy here they disappear at the slightest movement. At last I managed to film it through the kitchen window and the sound which was coming through the open back door was just recordable.

As well as the visiting Goldfinches there has been an increase recently in the number of Greenfinches making regular visits to the feeding area.

One Hedgehog continues to visit soon after dark. Here it is seen tucking in to its favourite dried mealworms followed by a drink of water, a good shake and a wander off to the rest of the garden.

For once I watched what the hog did next. It wandered along the edge of the lawn in the direction of the pond stopping every now and then to snuffle out something to eat. Probably small beetles which make up the main part of a hedgehog's diet. It stayed still long enough for me to take its portrait.

Hedgehog Visitor

If it had been Honey she would have run away at full speed. Henry always stayed put but this one seemed smaller than Henry so it may well be a different hog.

That was the flicks (a slang word for moving pictures) now for the flutters. I actually took a real camera with me on our afternoon perambulation to the cricket field yesterday in the hope of seeing some dragons but as is normal when I take a camera they had all disappeared. There were many seven spot ladybirds in evidence on the brambles which was good to see as I understand they are under threat from the invading harlequins. Also in evidence were a few butterflies.

An area at one end of the field always has a magnificent crop of thistles. Many had already gone to seed and were dispersing in the breeze.

Thistle Seeds Blowing in the Breeze

Those still in flower were attracting numerous Small Tortoiseshell butterflies.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies

I was fortunate enough to spot a couple of Comma butterflies. A variety I never see in the garden.


Also spotted was what I think is a Speckled Wood.
(Thanks Roy for confirming the identification)

Speckled Wood

Apart from flies and wasps by the score the only other life spotted was the usual crop of bumble bees which still visit the lavender bushes in my front garden.


  1. That large photo of the orange butterfly is a real beauty! I also like the clock you have on the side panel showing what the time is right now over there. Maybe its been there for a while but I haven't noticed it until now.

  2. Yes John Magpies are a bit flighty especially when you point a camera at them. The butterfly, its a Speckled Wood.

  3. Hello Mick. The Comma stayed put long enough for me to get quite close.
    Yes Mick. The clock has been there a long while. :) It is a free addition you can have and can show the time anywhere in the world. If you want one for your blog just click on my clock. On the page which comes up choose 'clock gallery' from the menu at the top and follow the instructions.

  4. Thanks for the confirmation for the flutter photo Roy. I had checked with my identification sheet but the colours there don't always match real life but the patterns looked right.

  5. That is such a distinctive call from the Magpie John, I haven't heard or seen them in the garden anywhere near as much as I did last year.

    That is a beautiful photo of the Comma, I have captured them while on walks but like you they never visit the garden.

    There is a very good crop of apples on that tree!

  6. Good afternoon Jan. The Magpies chunter away to themselves a lot of the time. I don't know whether it is just a 'feeling happy' sort of thing or if they are communicating with others.

    I was really pleased with the Comma photo. It turned out better than I expected. The ones I saw seemed to like bramble bushes so I guess that is why they don't visit me.

    The apple trees are in next door's garden and most of the fruit ends up rotting on the ground.

  7. Lovely video of the Magpie John. They're quite the opposite here; bold as anything lol

  8. Thanks Keith. When the Magpies started visiting I was worried as they have a reputation for being a nuisance and poking their beaks into everything but my visitors are extremely shy.

  9. Another enjoyable post John and I always look forward to your video footage.

    Those flutters are lovely - as are all your pictures of them; I get the impression there's more of them about in general this year (the flutters that is :) ).

  10. Thank you Tricia. I am sure there are many more flutters here than there have been for years. Probably the lavender bushes are the attraction and they have only been in for two years.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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