Friday, 26 April 2013

The photos on my last post are of a male Alpine newt and a male large tortoiseshell. New critters are hard to come by these days so they took a bit of work. The newt has been introduced to several sites mainly in and around London but (like the one I visited) they're generally private and kept under lock and key - I was lucky enough to get permission to visit this site where I also saw pool frog, common wall lizard and all 3 native newt species.

The tortoiseshell was seen on a visit to the Isle of Wight with Mark Hows. We left early at 5.30am and were on the island by 8.40. The weather was kind to us but the butterfly proved elusive in the extreme - it took me 4 hours to see it and a whopping 7 hours to get decent views and this photo! Long-tailed blue is probably now the only annually occuring butterfly I haven't seen - fingers crossed for a twitchable one soon! Also seen on the day were common wall lizard, red squirrel, a few bats and birds came in the form of 10+ med gulls, little owl and a reeling gropper. Finally got home at 1.15am after a great day out.

It's already been a fantastic year for me for wildlife sightings but there have been no new birds as I've been lucky enough to have seen pine grosbeak, harlequin and rock thrush in the UK before. So here's hoping for a calandra or crested lark, slender-billed gull or blue rock thrush this spring!

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