The Adder #2.…

•June 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

 

My second trip to Allerthorpe proved to be just about as fruitful as the first, with only one Adder being spotted. However the Adder was a lot more obliging this time, allowing me to get more shots and some up-in-its-face macro stuff! Still didn’t manage the shots I had imagined though as the snake was on top of a large pile of brash, which meant that I couldn’t lean in too close without the risk of falling onto it. Never mind though, all it means is that I will have to go back another day and have another try!

 

 

 

Adder - Vipera berus

Adder - Vipera berus

 

 

  

 
Adder - Vipera berus

Adder - Vipera berusAdder -Vipera berus

 
Adder -Vipera berus

Adder -Vipera berus

 
There are quite a few Common-spotted Orchids along the woodland edge that leads to the common. I spotted the basel leaves coming through on my last visit. This time they were in full flower and looking particularly impressive. I‘m no expert when it comes to orchids but these are like none I have seen before. They are a gorgeous lilac colour, paler than other Common-spotted that I have seen. Maybe they are a varient or sub-species…. I need to ask an expert!
Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza fuchsii

 
On the way back I stopped to photograph this bridge. It seemed really steep at the time and pretty unusual. I’m not sure if that comes across in the photo, but I like it anyway. 

 bridge near allerthorpe

Next stop was Fairburn Ings. Just for a quick coffee and a walk around the boardwalk. Grabbed a few shots of a small fly feeding on an umbel lifer. Its only about 8mm long and its absolutely covered in pollen, a great illustration of the birds and the bees!

Dance-fly - Epis tessellata

Dance-fly - Epis tessellata

Meadow Cranesbill growing near the path at Fairburn. 
Meadow Cranesbill - Geranium pratense

Meadow Cranesbill - Geranium pratense

A Kingfisher was also showing well at Fairburn. This was right under my nose and didn’t seem to be bothered about me standing there. It carried on preening and fishing just a few feet away. I couldn’t get a good line on the bird as it was obscured by grass and leaves, but the result is a rather diffused, washed out image that has a somewhat abstract feel to it. I really like it. 
Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis

Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis

 

 

 

 

 

The Adder….

•June 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment
My recent search for Adders at the Hole of Horcum up on the North Yorkshire Moors, failed. I got a couple of fleeting glimpses of Common Lizard but nothing I was able to photograph. After a few tip-offs and some online research I decided to head over to Allerthorpe Common, apparently “the best place in Britian to see Adders” according to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust website. I only saw one Adder that day, but the weather was a bit cold and there was no sun to speak of. I also got my usual fleeting glimpse of a Common lizard, running across one of the basking tins that have been put out on the site. This is the only picture I got from the day, but I am heading back to Allerthorpe tomorrow. With the prospect of better weather and more time I hope to return with a few more shots. Watch this space!
 
_MG_5426  

The Brown Hare….

•June 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment
I went up onto the stack recently to look for my Barn owl. I am hoping that he will be back again this year as I haven
t got a decent shot of him yet. No owls to be seen, however I did manage to get quite close to a Brown Hare, a creature that I have always wanted to photograph! I’ve never managed to get close enough to them in the past but for some reason I was able to sneak up on this one. I see Hares in this area quite a lot and have often thought that I should set up a make-shift hide. I definitely will now to try and get some good shots. Being on top of the pit-stacks means it’s the ideal location to get subjects back-lit in the evening sun.

 

 

 

Brown Hare - Lepus europaeus

Brown Hare - Lepus europaeus

 

 

 

 

 

The Barn Owl…..

•June 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment
 I was wondering which photograph to post for my first-ever blog entry. I then came across my first-ever Barn owl photo, which quite aptly was taken a year ago today! I checked the date as this owl became an almost daily sighting for me last summer, and I wanted to know the date that I first encountered him.

 

barnowlallertonings11

 

Most evenings there-after he would be hunting the same area of rough grassland for field voles, then fly off with them to feed his mate and presumably offspring. The hunting ground is an old pit-stack, so its fairly high up and allows a good view over relatively flat farmland. Each time the owl caught a prey item, he would fly really high and then glide off over the fields into the distance. I could watch it until it reached Mickletown, a village about 3 miles away as the crow (owl) flies, then I would lose him in my binoculars. I timed the departure until next arrival as roughly 12 minutes each time. This gave me plenty of opportunity to run around and get into a concealed position, ready to snap away on its return. It was very frustrating when he would arrive back only to hunt at the far side of the stack, catch a vole within 2 minutes, and then be away again for 12. If I decided to move to the far side, I could almost guarantee he would return to where I had just been!

 

Barn Owl -Tyto alba