Whilst I did not do much photography in my garden in July, it did provide plenty of interest and some excitement!
After quite a long period of absence, a male Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) has been paying us frequent visits. As yet, I'm not aware of it actually catching anything, but there have been plenty of near misses!
|Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) (male) - our garden|
On 27th July we had a very rare visit from a Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus). Only record shots were obtained, however.
|Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) - our garden|
We got spoilt last year by the family of Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) that spent the summer in our garden. GSW visits have, sadly, been rare this year. Here's a juvenile that visited us on 26th July.
|Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) - our garden|
The really unexpected happened on 29th July when a Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) visited. Whilst not a rare bird in itself, it's not common in suburban gardens. Again, unfortunately, only record shots were obtained.
|Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) - our garden|
This has probably been the best summer ever in our garden for juvenile birds. just to lighten the atmosphere, how's this for a comical ball of fluff!!
It is, of course, a juvenile Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus).
|Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) - our garden|
Garden Butterflies and Moths
I've not spent any significant amount of time with these this year, but I'm rather glad that I've not totally ignored them, as I'll explain later.
Every year we get Vapourer Moth (Orgyia antiqua) caterpillars in our garden, but this year they've been extremely scarce. This is the only one I've found to photograph.
|Vapourer Moth (Orgyia antiqua) (caterpillar) - our garden|
On 21st July, whilst sitting in our conservatory, my eye was taken by a butterfly landing on one of the Buddleia bushes. It was our first ever fritillary. This was a Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja), which I understand is somewhat rare in our county! Sadly, this was a rather tatty specimen.
|Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja) - our garden|
The following two images are of extremely common butterflies but, in my opinion, species that are spectacular for different reasons - the first for its upper wing markings and the second for its wing shape.
|Peacock (Inachis io) - our garden|
|Comma (Polygonia c-album) - our garden|
Other Garden Creatures
Early in the month we had two visits from a Common Toad (Bufo bufo). In reality, this creature is probably living undetected in our garden. It was quite amenable, and let me pick it up and place it where I could take photos. Here's a few!
|Common Toad (Bufo bufo) - our garden|
I've already posted an image of a Fox (Vulpes vulpes) taken with the wildlife camera that I had for a while. The first camera was faulty from the word go, but the second camera worked well for about two weeks before it too went faulty - and was returned to the supplier for a full refund.
Here's some video (first time I've posted video on my blog - thank you Noushka for your advice) of a fox which, unbeknown to us, was visiting our garden on a regular basis. The camera also recorded sound, but for these clips only came up with strange electronic noise, so I've overdubbed some music - if you don't like it, please turn your sound down.
Click here to go to my Fox video on YouTube (and click the 'back' button on your browser to return to this post when you have finished).
We've also go at least two Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) visiting us each night - hopefully living in the 'hogitat' that we installed last year, but I'm not going to disturb it to investigate. Here's a still image, taken with low-level flash.
|Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) - our garden|
Here's some video of Hedgehogs in my garden:
And here's some video of the Fox with a Hedgehog!
Thank you for dropping by. I expect that it will be back to owls for the next post.