5.4.15.

Happy Easter Everyone!

It certainly was for me over Highgate Common this morning! With so much wildlife photographed today, I better crack on. What I’ve decided to do, is post today in the order I saw things…

Arrived at Highgate Common today at 6am, and decided to have a walk up Mere Lane. First thing I spotted was a male and female Yellowhammer on top of the hedgerow…

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At the first opening and gate in the hedge I decided to scan the field, only just about spotted this male Skylark, it was so well camouflaged…

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Then onto the next gate for another look, as I turned the bend I noticed two Hares Boxing, but could not get a clear photo through the hedge. So I decided to risk getting to the gate, but may risk scaring them off. I didn’t actually scare them off, but they had stopped boxing. Now in the open I noticed there was actually four Hares all bombing round the field. It was hard to keep up with them, they were running that fast. But I did manage these photos….

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With me being as far from HC as I wanted to go, I decided to head back the ten minute walk, but this time check the fields on the opposite side. This next wildlife event will always live with me. I noticed a single Red-legged Partridge at about 100 yards. Anyone who as ever tried to get photos of Partridge will tell you..100 yards is pretty close. So leaning on the large gate post I decided to take a few shots. But instead of flying off as they usually do when disturbed. It decided to walk towards me. The more photos I took the more interested and the nearer it got. The only thing I can put this down to, was perhaps my camera’s high speed shooting/motordrive sounded like a males call. So obviously this must have been a female thinking my camera was a male. She got that close at the end, she was too close for my lens to focus on. So enjoyed witnessing this…

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As if the day could not get any better, it did when I arrived at The Wardens Office to do my usual scan of the lights. Today it turned up three new Moths and a new Ichneumon Wasp! I would also like to thank Gary, who helped with holding my camera a few times, while I balanced on a pile of unstable logs to get the photos below…

Firstly the New Moths:-

Early Grey (Xylocampa areola)…

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Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata) Unfortunately this moth was caught up in a spiders web. But thats the circle of life…

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Wobbling on an uneven pile of logs, and this moth being up high, this was the best photo I got of this Early Tooth-Striped (Trichopteryx carpinata)…

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Now for the Ichneumon Wasp. There were several of these which were all obviously attracted to the Wardens lights too. This one (one of thousands) is called Ichneumon Wasp (Ophion scuterllaris)…

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With it now being about 9:30am I was thinking as I walked onto the main Common…Things could not get any better could they??? Turns out I was wrong. Next thing I spotted was another male Minotaur Beetle in the grass…

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Really close to the Minotaur Beetle was this very large Pill Millipede, biggest one I’ve ever seen…

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Decided to have a sit by the pool, and take a few minutes rest…

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Whats the saying? No Peace for the Wicked!! I had only planted my bum down 5 seconds, and noticed a Mining Bee land on one of the Insect Signs. As yet unidentified, and proving I need a good Mining Bee Book. I will update as soon as I get ID. Starting to love the look of Mining Bees. The signposts still work!

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With it being Easter, it was only natural a Robin should give me a photo opportunity.  Still love the religious reason why a Robin gets its Red Breast…

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With only ten minutes left before I headed off for my Sunday Roast, HC still delivered this new fly for me. Not a great photo, but with my eyes, and this Bibio only being about 5mm long, I was happy with this record photo…

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Now anybody who has been following how hard I have been trying to photograph an Oil Beetle lately, will know what an absolutely fantastic highlight to the end of my morning. I must admit all the while I was on the Heathland today I was scanning the grass and footpaths for these rare Beetles. Only yards away from the car park, and crossing  the road to the car, I finally spotted one. It was coming out of a large mound of grass. I didn’t want to get too close, because I thought it may just vanish back in the deep grass. So I stayed a good distance back and cropped these images. I do believe going on John Walters description this is a Violet Oil Beetle….

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What a Fantastic Easter Sunday!!!

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