A Change of Pace

A change of pace today, and a mix of shots taken in the garden and out at Castle Hill (a local nature reserve which sits just inside the South Downs National Park). I'll start with the only bird shot in this entry, a meadow pipit perched on gorse (and for once, perhaps foolishly) I feel confident about the identification. This was taken at Castle Hill.

I had several sighting of buzzards, kestrels and (possibly) a peregrine, but none close enough to produce any useful images. On the other hand I did see plenty of butterflies, including two which I don't think I've featured previously. Both are small, and indeed include 'small' in their common names. First up is the small heath butterfly, which looks a little like a meadow brown, but is smaller and has a smudged greenish-brown lower wing.

The second is a more colourful butterfly, and somewhat more distinctive. It's a small copper, and there were several flitting over the meadow.

I also saw a day-flying moth which I have provisionally identified as a muslin ermine (a completely new on on me). Assuming the identification is correct, it's a female (due to the colour and that it was day-flying. The males are brownish in colour and only come out at night).

The final shot from Castle Hill is of a small colony of rabbits, included simply because I've never managed a dozen mammals in a single photo.

The final pictures are from the garden. The first is another new one for me, provisionally identified as a 'picture wing fly'. There are nearly 40 different varieties of these. It's a pretty and tiny little thing.

To close some shots of babies, but these aren't the fluffy ones of late. I think they're cute though. And they are exceedingly small, little more than tiny mobile flecks. These are spiderlings of the common garden spider (Araneus diadematus).

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Camera note: all the Castle Hill shots were taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. The garden photos were taken with the EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

This entry was posted in Birds, Insects, Landscape, South Downs National Park, Spiders and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. gdare April 30, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Those spiders can grow really big :insane:

  2. SittingFox April 30, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Well, I think spiderlings are cute, though I can imagine that some people may not! :bug:

    Nice selection of flying things :up: Moth ID sends me into fits!

  3. anonymous April 30, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Anonymous writes:

    Ooh boy, I have to say, spiders terrify me and I can't find those spiderlings cute unfortunately. But they do serve a valuable function. (Not sure what though, other than scaring the @&*% out of me a couple of times a year :-).


  4. Cynthia23 May 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Like this post alot! As always, great photography! Yes, identifying moths … errrr!!! But, it's a great way to learn about them. But, really, there are a few for a year (here and there) I have been trying to decide: ok, which is it? ha hah ha!!

    Have a great week, Words!

  5. cakkleberrylane May 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Well, I don't have a great love of spiders either, I can't think about them without imagining them crawling all over me, but as far as spiders go, they are indeed cute.

  6. cakkleberrylane May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I guess it was!:bug: :bug:

  7. Words May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Darko, they sure can 😀 😀

  8. Words May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Lois, Hooray!! I think that was a grudging acceptance of spiderly cuteness! 😀

  9. Words May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #


  10. Words May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Adele, I love the colour of the spiderlings. Such a shame they lose it as they get bigger. The moth description is my loose translation of various websites.

  11. Words May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Cynthia, thanks. There are just so may species of moth that it's almost impossible to be certain with some of them. At least this one was quite distinctive.

  12. Words May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Marilyn, the spiders do a great job keeping the fly population under control. It's definitely preferable if they stay in the garden though!