Wildfife.com

My name's Ben. I live in the Lomond Hills and this is a diary of a calendar year in the wildlife of Fife. Featured blogger for BBC Wildlife Magazine's Local Patch Reporter project.

Grasshoppers….erm….’doing it’

image

When I’m out & about in the Lomond Hills I *always* have my camera with me because you never know what you’re going to encounter.  And sometimes, you find the weirdest things.

The other week, while I was out on a walk, I heard some loud ‘stridulation’….which is the technical term for what grasshoppers do when they rub their legs on their wings.

Despite broadcasting their locations grasshoppers are quite difficult to locate in long grass because….well…..they tend to be the same colour as the grass.  When I honed in on the sound…..this is what I found:

Read More

I was soooo elated at seeing a peacock butterfly at home this afternoon, as they’re infrequent visitors to this garden.  Imagine my joy as it fluttered about the driveway, settled on the ground…..and then imagine my horror as it was promptly grabbed by a pied wagtail and used in a tug of war with a robin.  Circle of life, innit.

I was soooo elated at seeing a peacock butterfly at home this afternoon, as they’re infrequent visitors to this garden.  Imagine my joy as it fluttered about the driveway, settled on the ground…..and then imagine my horror as it was promptly grabbed by a pied wagtail and used in a tug of war with a robin.  Circle of life, innit.

60-minute safari in the Lomond Hills

image

A couple of weeks ago I spent a somewhat frantic hour roaming my favourite patch of the Lomond Hills, camera in hand to capture the wonderful creatures that live there in high summer.

I didn’t have to move much.  There’s incredible profusion pretty much everywhere.

There were, frankly, more creatures and plants than I could ever hope to photograph in one month, yet alone one hour.  Of the ones I did try to snap, many were skittish and I couldn’t get good photos of them.  The images here therefore represent only a tiny proportion of the species I encountered, and an even tinier proportion of the species you’d find if you REALLY tried hard.

Anyway, there’s a good selection and hopefully it shows what wonderful diversity, beauty and weirdness you can find in just sixty minutes on a hillside.

image

Read More

2014 - a good year for house martins

image

You might recall my efforts earlier in the summer to assist our house martins with their nest building: Anti-slip house martins.

For the previous two years they had built nests but they’d slipped off the windows’ PVC surface, killing the chicks inside.  This summer I put anti-slip tape on those surfaces to give a bit more friction.

I don’t know whether they’d learned from past experience, or there was something about the tape that put them off, but sadly no house martins nested on our house this year.  They did however nest on adjacent houses and were a constant presence throughout the summer.

Read More

Juvenile starlings massing on my roof this week.
At this time of year their numbers have been bolstered by the new generation…..some of which noisily fledged above my bedroom window twice this summer.  You can tell which ones are this year’s youngsters, as they still have their pale-brown heads.  By winter they will have adopted the darker, oily-looking plumage of their parents.
We’ve always had a healthy population of starlings up here.  They flock together in a small murmuration of several hundred individuals all year round and are one of my favourite spectacles in the Lomond Hills.
Juvenile starlings massing on my roof this week.
At this time of year their numbers have been bolstered by the new generation…..some of which noisily fledged above my bedroom window twice this summer.  You can tell which ones are this year’s youngsters, as they still have their pale-brown heads.  By winter they will have adopted the darker, oily-looking plumage of their parents.
We’ve always had a healthy population of starlings up here.  They flock together in a small murmuration of several hundred individuals all year round and are one of my favourite spectacles in the Lomond Hills.

Juvenile starlings massing on my roof this week.

At this time of year their numbers have been bolstered by the new generation…..some of which noisily fledged above my bedroom window twice this summer.  You can tell which ones are this year’s youngsters, as they still have their pale-brown heads.  By winter they will have adopted the darker, oily-looking plumage of their parents.

We’ve always had a healthy population of starlings up here.  They flock together in a small murmuration of several hundred individuals all year round and are one of my favourite spectacles in the Lomond Hills.

Butterflies LOVE buddleia, don’t they?

We’ve got a flippin great big buddleia bush outside the visitor centre at Beecraigs Country Park.  Rather embarrassingly I can’t say I’d ever noticed it before yesterday when, as I walked past, a dozen or so butterflies lifted off the flowers and fluttered past my head.

For a moment it was like being in one of those butterfly theme park things where you walk into a humid, sweaty greenhouse and have all manner of vividly coloured wing-ed beasts come and sit on your shoulders.

Read More

1 of 10
Load More Posts
Sorry, No More Posts
Loading...