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Still On The Wing

Red Admiral on Fatsia Japonica x Ivy

Still On The Wing

A sunny, late November day in the gardens of Firespark Records and Studios. It’s only 9°C but there are butterflies on the wing! Three red admirals emerge from their winter roost, in the nearby fir, to feed on the flowers of this ivy tree (x Fatshedera lizei), soaking up the sun for the few, brief hours that it’s autumnal rays now fall across the garden. Are these the last butterflies that I will see before winter sets in? Perhaps. There may not be any more sunny days while nectar sources are still available for them to leave their roosts again. But if the sun is shining, wherever you are, keep your eyes peeled for dancing wings! You can help citizen science by recording your sighting with Butterfly Conservation UK. This is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge. Good luck everyone!

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Blue Monday: Caught In The Light

Blue Tit in bright autumn light

Blue Monday: Caught In The Light

A pretty blue tit, caught in the bright light of a chilly autumn afternoon, at RHS Wisley Gardens yesterday, for this week’s Fotospeed challenge.

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Scottish Wildcat – At Threat Of Extinction

Female Scottish Wildcat

Scottish Wildcat – At Threat Of Extinction

It’s very hard for researchers to know the exact number of these amazing cats left wild in Scotland, as they have hybridised with feral domestic-cat populations over the years. It is estimated that there are now perhaps only thirty five true wildcats left and they are at imminent threat of extinction. It breaks my heart! This beautiful female and her three kittens live at the British Wildlife Centre, near Godstone, in Surrey. Such a great place! I visited last week with my friend Nikki and godchildren, Rosie and James. Rosie loves all cats and the wildcats hold a special place in her heart too. It was wonderful to explore our native wildlife with them, whilst giving young James another photography tutorial! I have a few images of some of the other residents, but the wildcat topped my Twitter poll for what people wanted to see for today’s Wex Mondays challenge. I’m very glad to share a bit of their story with you, but for more information please visit the British Wildlife Centre wildcat page here. The centre does some wonderful work in conservation, rescue & rehabilitation and in education. It’s well worth a visit and I would really encourage everybody to support the amazing work that they do!

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The View

National Diving and Activity Centre

The View

…from a perch at the top of the flooded quarry at Chepstow, home to the National Diving and Activity Centre.

This is my entry for the weekly Fotospeed challenge.

And now a view from the bottom of the flooded quarry…. a perch!

Perch

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Watch The Birdies!

Green and Gold

Watch The Birdies!

For me it’s one of the best tonics ever, watching the birds. It was my one request to my long-suffering hubby at the end of the weekend, as I started to feel a bit better following a nasty infection. Take me out to watch the birds. I still didn’t feel up to doing much more than sitting quietly in the birdhide, watching and listening to my feathered friends. Simon’s not quite as obsessed with birds (I think it bores him unless it’s birds of prey!) as I am so this was such a sweet gesture from him! There was only a fleeting visit by a couple of parakeets. They’re enjoying the sweet chestnut trees so much at the moment I don’t think they can be bothered with the feeders near the hide! There were lots of blue tits, great tits, chaffinches and dunnocks. I was really pleased to see the nuthatch and a pair of coal tits too. Several robins were feeding on the ground beneath the feeders and I caught sight of a couple of wrens in the undergrowth, moving far too fast to photograph! I’m putting the parakeet into Wex Mondays this week as I loved the glow of the late sun against the still-green leaves and the greens of the parakeet itself. It was uplifting!