Thursday, 20 August 2015

Randomly Shooting House Martins

Well well, I've been feeling sad about the disappearance of our summer birds - the chiff chaffs have stopped singing, and the swifts have stopped carving up the sky. But at least today on my run, I had a glimpse to perhaps sustain me until spring.

I've been running today, sadly missing the two twenty minute bursts of sunshine the powers that be have allowed us today. It was too cloudy and windy for all butterflies bar the whites, but the late season bees were still very busy on the thistles on Beacon Hill Reserve. Particularly noticeable was a very vivid carder bee, so vivid I'm wondering if it could perhaps have been a striped carder rather than a common one.

It was further along my run, by the Mount School, that I came across a busy flock of what I initially thought were house martins, but what my pictures reveal also had a few swallows thrown in. A mixed pack of hirundids who obviously found rich pickings over the playing field worth interrupting their flight south for.

I poked my camera through the bars, and basically took random snaps of the birds as the wheeled and swooped for food. That I got any results at all was amazing, I think.

They were only there for about 5 minutes before moving on; I came across them high over London Road a few minutes later. Like the lapwings yesterday, another group of birds heading south, to where they will no doubt have a rather warmer winter than we have had a summer.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.08.15

Lavender bee. Is there such a thing as a lavender bee?

Here the very vivid carder bee

Joined by a friend

Just beautiful colours

Honey bee with saddlebags

Not much time left!

Gypsy cuckoo also at work

Harlequin ladybird

Native 7 spot. Barely seen any all year.

Bombylans hover fly?

Church, not house, martins


Small torotiseshell I found down by the river


  1. Great photos Simon - especially love the ones of the Common Carder Bee and the last one of the Small Tortoiseshell.

    Good macro shots too of flowers in your last post :)

  2. Those ones came out pretty well, thanks, I'm pleased!

  3. Great. From this and the previous post it looks as though you have the macro side of things sorted.

  4. Thank you John, I'm gradually getting better. The bridge camera will be another step up!

  5. Photos are looking good, next year I hope to be better at I.D bees , there's a new book out on bees which I quite fancy..
    Amanda xx

  6. Thanks Amanda! It's a pity the summer has been so dull!

  7. You did so well to catch the house martins, I thought I'd get a few snaps of them down on the farm but they are very tricky indeed.
    Ragged Robin knows her insects and it looks like she was able to id for you, I'm still not too good at that.

  8. Thank you Suzie, and yes, I'll take it from Robin that it's a common carder! As for the martins and swallows, having a crummy little camera, but with a wide field of view, helps!