Saturday, 1 July 2017

burnet weekend

Another wildlife filled run today at Gullane. The usual Saturday story. Time to chew over the week's highs and lows with Mary on the drive down the coast (via Telferton to pick up a package), then coffee at Falko's and a scone. We always get them to take out, and sit in the car chatting. This week, given the imminent demise of the Gullane outlet I enquired what beans they use, (Paul's Yard, Three Crowns) in case we are forced to grind our own. The scones were maybe best ever - slightly extra toasting? Then down to the beach car park to give us the option of a paddle afterwards.

As we were getting ready this spider was forcefully evicted from it's web on the boot handle and deposited for its holidays into the shrubs of the car park. Much nicer environment. 

The brown jobs were out in force. Ringlets (above) and Meadow Browns which are near identical but without the little rings. Modest in size and appearance I gave up chasing them after a while, as they are not keen to hang around or pose for a portrait.

Then we came across these brightly coloured daylight moths on the JMW, where it goes through the golf course, and spent the whole day calling them Cinnabar Moths because they are very similar to those; but are in fact 5 Spot Burnet Moths. They have appeared halfway through July in previous years so shouldn't have caught us out - and are always a great favourite because they are not only very vivid but happy to explore flowerheads while being photographed and don't readily fly off when you poke a camera in their faces. Possibly because they taste bleuch and don't need to evade predators. So for the next 2 weeks expect a lot more. Then they disappear for the rest of the year. 

This was like a ghost of a Painted Lady (first one this season) but was still flying pretty well considering the tattered wings and faded colours. Wonder how far its flown?

Loads of Burnets on the JMW but none on the coastal and beach paths today. It was a good bit more sheltered on the JMW though.

ringlet caterpillar?

Meadow Brown

No sooner had I been telling Mary that nobody uses a net to catch butterflies and moths these days than we come across these 2 - the dude on the right has a net and the one on the left, well I have no idea what he is up to but he seems to have caught himself in his pillowcase. Any ideas? 

Just over the bridge to enchantment we came across this tiny daisy near to the ground with either a baby hoverfly or a minute species on it. The camera did an excellent job of focussing as required. Something it didn't do for quite a few of the nearly 300 photos I took today. Always worth shooting many shots at different zoom lengths, as you can't discern from the screen on the back in sunny weather whether the subject is in sharp focus or not. Especially for macro and short focal length pics.

swans setting up home at Marl Loch

There were one or 2 damselflies about but as Mary said they looked very thin and insubstantial like those weird-coloured biros you get that are nearly transparent and don't work very well.

There were a few grasshoppers bouncing about the grass and I took the time out from trying to kick up Blues (1, maybe 2, no photos) and Fritillaries (zero) to take a dozen photos of this chap. Most were out of focus and deleted but I was very pleased to see this one above come out so well showing all sorts of detail I hadn't noticed (couldn't see because my eyes are shot) when taking the images. It was less than 2 thumbnails in length. Possibly a Short Winged Meadow Grasshopper and possibly immature - it really was tiny.

Also this moth - I was just collecting the insects sitting still atop the flowers and thistles and didn't realise how pleasing this fella, with impressive antlers and rolled up tongue, is.

Maybe too windy for fritillaries and common blues but the grasses and flowers themselves are just radiant, an explotion of warm colours and furry grassheads. Since Mary got a good camera she can run with, she has become considerably more prone to stopping and taking pics. She used to disappear over the horizon and I'd reluctantly leave whatever I was chasing thinking I best catch up. I think Mary said her Garmin measured 40mins stationary today. Both of us a hundred yards apart getting lost in the minutiae of plants and insects while the bees and birdsong soundtracked the day. It was glorious.

me, photo Mary
her blog here

beach intervals, Mary wearing hair goggles and carrying a little man

So the coach said we should run from that end of the beach to this. I set off and after getting up to speed checked the Suunto which read 6.05 pace. Feeling I could do better than that I upped the pace substantially only to see at the next glance it was still only 6.00min/miles. A bit hacked off I again upped the pace and spent sometime at 5.35 before reaching the end of the beach not a moment too soon. A bit of speed work before the Tour of Fife. Too little too late no doubt. But it gave me a reminder of the sort of experiences available there.

Very glad to return to normal speed and taking photos. We didn't make it to the woods and stopped at the Gullane car park. And didn't even go in the water. Saving energy for the Tesco's shop and trying not to get angry when suffering low blood sugar hunger rage and someone barges in the exit door with their trolley as we're leaving with armfuls of shopping. Managed not to shout, just scowled and stomped. Could be worse there could have been a game on and no parking spaces. Nice summer salad and tins of fancy olives. More tomorrow.

Meadow Brown in flight because it wouldn't land or play ball.

jelly on the beach

 mole sunbathing

Competition time. The above photo is the content of the package we picked up from Telferton today. (No) prizes for guessing what it is, and why it is required?

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