Tag: hoverfly

Summery; Bespoke mini-Safari 22/06/16

by on Jul.05, 2016, under Northumberland Coast

As I collected Len and Jean from Middleton Hall, the bright warm sunshine suggested that summer had genuinely arrived 🙂

Heading down to the coast we explored a section of river that has produced regular Otter sightings.  Hoverflies and bumblebees were exploring riverside flowers, a Scorpion Fly became the focus of Len’s lens and, as Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Chaffinch sang from nearby bushes, Mallards paddled along the river with their ducklings.  A high-pitched mewing preceded the appearance of a Common Buzzard over a nearby hillside, twisting, turning and soaring in the rising heat as Black-headed Gulls drifted in and out of view dipping towards the river before climbing again.

The buzz of insects on a warm summer morning, is there anything that epitomises June any more than that 🙂

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Life through a (magnifying) lens; Family mini-beast hunt 21/07/2014

by on Jul.28, 2014, under Northumberland, Southeast Northumberland

Our routine (if anything involving wildlife can ever be routine…) safari trips have brought some remarkable experiences for our clients, and for us too.  ‘Big stuff’ (for want of a better a description) is always popular; Red Squirrel, Otter, White-beaked Dolphin, Badger, Minke Whale are just a few examples of those perpetual crowd-pleasers.  Sometimes though, I think we may lose a sense of perspective and forget that the ecosystem has a lot of ‘little stuff’ too…

I collected Penny, Nathan, Alfie, Arthur and Millie from Alnmouth and we set off for a morning in southeast Northumberland.  I armed the two boys with compact binoculars, and Millie with one of my favorite bits of kit 🙂  Sarah, all of our friends and relatives, and many of our clients know that I’m a bit of a gear geek…but a 23mm 10x doublet hand lens is a relatively simple instrument that opens up a world that is quite remarkable.  The boys used the binoculars to look at insects, flowers, grass, the sky and anything else that was in front of us, and Millie learned how to use a hand lens.  With a sample pot as our other toy of choice for the morning we captured, observed and released hoverflies, moths, soldier beetles, a Common Blue Damselfly, a Bee Fly and all sorts of weird and wonderful mini-beasties.

The enthusiasm of Alfie, Arthur and Millie reminded me that, every so often, I need to stop looking up into the sky or out to sea and look down at the small world around our feet 🙂

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