An unreliable memoir

Archive for June, 2015

Marbled White

Marbled White
Marbled White, Melanargia galathea. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f11 1/750 ISO 200

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting
Male Reed Bunting. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f11 600mm 1/250 ISO 400

I took a lot of shots at the weekend and I wasn’t happy with the technical quality of most of them. This is probably the best effort, nicely capturing what Reed Buntings do.

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid
Bee Orchid, Ophrys apifera. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f27 1/60 ISO 200

An Image of Summer

Helophilus trivittatus
Hoverfly, Helophilus trivittatus. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f8 1/3000 ISO 200


Wasp Orchid
Wasp Orchid, Ophrys apifera var trollii. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f22 1/125 ISO 200

On Sunday we had the best orchid day ever – we saw literally thousands of orchids. And among them all, one single Wasp Orchid, possibly the only Wasp Orchid in VC55 this year. The Wasp Orchid is actually a variant of the Bee Orchid (var trollii), but with wasp-shaped flowers. Wasp-type flowers can even occur on the same plant as bee-type flowers. But still – one spike on one site in VC55. One careless footstep and …

2015 List (as of 21.06.15)
Early Purple Orchid
Green Winged Orchid
Man Orchid
Common Spotted Orchid
Greater Butterfly Orchid
Southern Marsh Orchid
Heath Spotted Orchid
Fragrant Orchid
Bee Orchid
Wasp Orchid
Pyramidal Orchid
Common Twayblade

Under Pressure

Common Lizard
Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f8 1/90 ISO 200

Aw, a cute little lizard. Everybody loves a lizard.
Apart from grass snakes, VC55 (Leicestershire and Rutland) has few reptile hotspots. Intensive agriculture just doesn’t suit them, and a large human population is even worse. This shot was taken at the best known reptile site, where three species occur. But let’s take a closer look (i.e. back off a bit).

Common Lizard

This is a pregnant female. She has a regenerated tail meaning she has probably been handled in the past. I took this shot on an organized walk with a senior member of the Wildlife Trust, and it was taken from a public footpath which gets high numbers of walkers, including dog walkers, many of who do not keep their dogs on leads as requested to in the nature reserve – i.e. constant disturbance – not good for pregnant ladies just hoping for some peace to bask in the sun. The reserve also gets a lots of unwelcome attention from reptile “enthusiasts”, fossil hunters and simple morons (problems with livestock being let out, litter, etc). I’m really quite fearful about the future of this site which is really one of the (few) jewels of VC55. I hope Mrs Lizard is allowed to have her babies in peace. I hope future generations get to say, Aw, cute lizard.

Long-Headed Poppy

Long-Headed Poppy
Long-Headed Poppy – Papaver dubium. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f8 1/60 ISO 400

And here’s why:
Long-Headed poppy

Orchid Hunter With Camera

Merrys Meadows
Sony DSC-HX20V f3.2 4.5mm 1/800 ISO 100
The closest you’re likely to see to a selfie. Apart from this one:

Bee orchid

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood, Pararge aegeria. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f16 1/350 ISO 200

Nothing unusual, but I rather like this shot.