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Bluebells, Froglets and more Mimics

Wifi has been down for a week so I’ve got lots go catch you up on. I’ll start with some beautiful woodland Frogs amongst the Bluebells which doesn’t seem significant but I look forward to finding them every year in this wood. Any excuse to use the macro lens and to include flora in my images. It looks like it’s going to be a good year for bluebells. I’ve even seeing them high on the moors, which seems unusual.. certainly not something I’ve ever noticed before. I just always associated them with woodland but I guess that’s because everything else is intensely farmed..

While I’m on the uplands, it was pretty special bumping into not 1 but 2 Ring Ouzel in an undisclosed location. We’re at the start of the breeding season for these birds now so it will be interesting to see whether they stick around or if they continue on their migration.

Ring Ouzel

Ring Ouzel

Other notable images from my weeks adventures were mostly bugs. Mating Green Tiger Beetles was a first but Hairy Shieldbug and a Common Crab Spider posed well. The shieldbug image is a 3 image stack, which enabled me to keep a soft background while using the 3 images to pull focus on various parts of the shield-bug in order to get it all in focus.

If you enjoy my mimicking recordings, this one might be a new one for you. It certainly was for me! Siskin have a complex song, but I've always found them pretty easy to identify, therefor didn’t really give them much attention. I don’t know whether it’s just this individual or whether they all do this, but this Siskin could mimic a Blackbird alarm call, a Magpie contact call and a Green Woodpecker call, all mixed into its own song.
It was a real windy day and recording thru numerous branches but you can still hear it if you listen carefully. I’ll revisit this bird on a clearer day to get some better quality recordings. What I love about mimicking birds is, it reminds me that all birds are total individuals, capable of making their own choices.

Goldcrest Poll Results

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you may have spotted a little quiz where you got to decide which of the spectrograms below is a real Goldcrest.

Twitter Results

Twitter Results

Facebook Result

Facebook Result

Test ID Sepctogram.jpg

Well, the results were pretty unanimous on both Twitter and Facebook. The majority of people thought that B was the real Goldcrest. Well I’m quite happy with that result, as the answer was in fact A !!!

So far I’m yet to find a Firecrest that’s been able to produce the Goldcrest song with 4 notes per phrase. It’s the last note of each phrase that appears to be the most challenging for the Firecrest.

Firecrest Mimic

I’ll leave you with a picture of a lovely Froglet, one of many covering the woodland flower at the moment that’s plastered with Bluebells. It’s going to be a good season by the looks.

Common Frog Bluebells 28th April.jpg

Froglet Log & Banking Dragons

Only a short stay at Llandegfedd today. Was swiftly greeted by another two boys on off-road vehicles thru the wild flower meadows again so that didn't put me in a great mood but this Froglet did save the day followed by a stunning Male Migrant Hawker hunting in the peeping sunshine that was trying so hard to make an appearance today. These weren't my intended subjects for today but sometimes you just have to make the most of what you're given. 

Patch Re-visit

As planned, a re-visit for a better photograph of a Black Darter lead to finding a beautiful female. Still lots of other Dragonflies flying there including a Southern Hawker which I haven't actually had there all year as it's been mainly Common Hawker and Migrants so far. Still lots of Froglets on the rocks, which to be fair make really great subjects to photograph and to top it off, another pair of Redkites! This time carrying what looked to be a mouse or even a rat. At first I thought it may have been tagged but looking closely it is actually a mouse. Another great couple of hours spent in this fantastic place. 

If you didn't notice in my 'events' calendar, today marks a special day for the Moon called 'Blood Moon' and even though the peak isn't till 1am in the morning, (to which I'm certainly not staying up for as I have work in the morning) - You can already see the colour emerging while rising late in the evening. 

My Secret Patch Delivers Again

If you're wondering why I have a secret patch, it's certainly not because I don't want to share it with you! It's mainly down to how many protected species actually nest there. I'm very torn because the site is by far my favourite location in South Wales. Even better than Llandegfedd Reservoir and you all know how much I love Llandegfedd!. Today I had another new Species for me in the form of a Black Darter and also an Unidentified Fungi that appears to be one of these Carnivorous types as it had a fly stuck in there much like a Sundew Plant. It appears to be a Fungi growing ontop of another Fungi but I'm still waiting to hear back from the professionals on that one. Lots of Froglets hopping around the floor today! I had so much fun photographing these little guys! I almost got a shot of them hopping off the stones but it was slightly out of focus. I may visit again tomorrow for a better photograph of the Black Darter.