Thursday, 19 April 2012

Brighton and Hastings

Just back from a cat-sitting stint in Brighton. It wasn't much fun, as my uncle died on Monday and I couldn't go and see my dad til cat-sitting was over, then the day after I got that news one of the cats got ill and eventually had to go to the veterinary hospital (he's OK and home now). So, little wildlife-watching was done.

I did have a wander along the beach during a brief stress-respite but the weather turned a bit grim. The beach and sea were busy with subadult Herring Gulls - the adults are up in town, busy preparing to nest.

I found this cluster of barnacle-encrusted mussels on a groyne. They were very small mussels, which indicates how tiny the barnacles are.

I did spend a bit of time in the garden, photographing flowers in sunny and not-so-sunny moments. From the top - Dandelion, Forget-me-not, Herb Robert.

Pretty sure this hover-bovver-fly is Syrphus ribesi. Insects were thin on the ground, because of the chilly and often rainy weather. Did see my first Small White butterfly of the year.

After cat-sitting, I went to Hastings for Sunday-Monday. On Monday morning I spent a couple of hours in the back yard after seeing a Raven going low overhead, with two Carrion Crows chasing along behind.

Their activity, which lasted at least two hours, looked more like play than hostility to me. They ranged widely over the Old Town, skimming along the edge of the East Hill then down into the valley and out towards the sea. Sometimes the Raven was bombing the crows, sometimes vice versa.

The Raven treated me to some amazingly close views. It didn't occur to me that I could quite easily do this without the 1.4x teleconverter until it was too late (clouds closed in, and I had other stuff to do).

There's a pair of Blue Tits nesting in a hole in my dad's wall, tucked behind the satellite dish. Hope they are successful.

This black bumblebee, sporting smart yellow socks (pollen baskets) came to feed on the Rosemary. I think I'm right in saying it's a female Anthophora plumipes.


Warren Baker said...

Better photo's of the Raven than I took recently Marianne.

Nice to see a bit of colour from the flowers now isn't it :-)

Rob said...

Great shots of the aerial encounter!

Forget-me-nots are such a lovely blue, aren't they.

I'd agree on the female A. plumipes, though I'm no expert.

ShySongbird said...

The Raven encounter was quite something and the flower photos are beautiful!

Chris Rohrer said...

Awesome shots!!! I'm sorry about your Uncle. The cats, I'm sure, were very happy you were there to take care of them. We have 5 and it's always a bit of work keeping them all happy. Hang in there. As for your raven shots...and other pics as well....incredible!!! I look forward to reading and seeing more. Have a good weekend. Chris

Christian said...

There are some beauties here Marianne, but the 7-from-bottom in-flight shot is a classic. Sorry about the news.