Thursday, 6 August 2015

Not just birds in Maridalen

I felt like an all-round naturalist today. Many birders switch to butterflies, moths or dragonflies in the summer but I have never really developed a passion for these species groups although I do like to record the butterflies I see (although I’ve never managed to get to grips with telling apart the various blue and fritillary butterflies). Today though it was almost as though creatures other than birds were more interesting. I found three adders in very close proximity of each other and then in the same area had a couple of dragonflies which I’ve managed to identify as Black Darters (svart høstlibelle) and a load of caterpillars feeding on nettles which I’ve identified as Peacock (dagpåfugløye) plus I had three mink and all this in addition to yesterday’s snails!!!

I nearly stood on the first adder which was a dark, probably melanistic, individual (a black adder) which was curled up in some short grass and as I moved away to take a photo with the big lens I nearly stood on another dark individual. As I then tried to photograph this one I then found a larger and normal coloured individual. Eventually all three got tired of my failed attempts to photo them and slithered away amongst some nearby stones. I suspect that it might be mating time which is why these three individuals were so close to each other. I had one hiss at me as I came to close to it as I was trying to move some grass to get a better picture which was quite exciting!

Birds were similar to the last few days with the Red-backed Shrikes still present, two distant Hobbies, a young Goshawk and a young Buzzard being the highlights.
Black? Adder

the same individual as above

with tongue out

the larger and normal coloured Adder

the other dark individual

this is a female Black Darter
I identified this as another Black Darter based on what I see as a black stripe with three yellow dots however I've received feedback that this is a newly hatched female Common Darter
female Common Darter (rødbrun høstlibelle)

Peacock (dagpåfugløye) caterpillars

Dad and child Red-backed Shrike

one of the young

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