03 June 2020

Lockdown - Day 50

Week 18; 30 April 2020 - Abu Hassania

To get out of the apartment and get some exercise, I did a few walks in the late afternoon from Fnaitees to Abu Hassania carrying the macro lens.

The three most common 'Blue' butterflies can be seen in this area; Asian Grass Blue

Asian Grass Blue (Zizeeria karsandra)

Mediterranean Pierrot

Mediterranean Pierrot (Tarucus rosacea)

and the bigger Brown Playboy

Brown Playboy (Deudorix antalus)

Crimson-speckled Flunkey's are also fairly common in the right habitat

Crimson-speckled Flunkey (Utetheisa pulchella)

Whilst this Moth is really camouflaged and easily lost if you don't watch carefully where it lands

Euchromius Cambridgei

The European Beewolf if pretty unmistakable

European Beewolf (Philanthus triangulum)




An unidentified Fly species

Fly sp.

A bit of creativity with some of the flora on the walk

Dandelion in late spring

Getting ready to disperse


Lockdown - Day 46

Week 17; 26 April 2020 - Fnaitees

Another accumulated collection of small invertebrates found in and around the small garden of my apartment in Fnaitees. 

Macro is not my forte, but it has proven to be really interesting and amazing what you can find, if you take the time to look a little more closely. Thanks again to Huw Roberts for his input on some of the ID's

This is a minute Beetle that preferred the underside of the Oleander leaf

Beetle sp.


This Beetle with funky side-stripes remains unidentified

Beetle sp.

As does this insect - not even sure of the Genus

Unidentified

However, the riotous Crimson-speckled Flunkey is quite unmistakable - it reminds me of the circus clown with its colours

Crimson-speckled Flunkey (Utetheisa pulchella)



A couple of Fly species, also unidentified

Fly sp.



and some that are

Common Lagoon Fly (Eristalinus aeneus)

Sarcophagidae sp.


This tiny but distinctive fella is a Fruit Fly

Goniurellia octoradiata


Whilst this almost white Bee is part of the Sweat Bee family

Halictus pici falx




And is not too dissimilar to this Leafcutter Bee

Leafcutter Bee (Megachile sp.)



Here is one of the Hover Fly species

Simosyrphus aegyptius

The Honey Bee is more obvious and it is amazing to see how much pollen is stuffed into the hairy receptacle on its hind leg called a corbiculae

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)



I found this beefy looking Beetle on the walkway

Mesostema puncticollis




Whilst this Mint Moth challenged me in finally getting a picture before it disappeared

Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata)

Not sure what came out of this small and delicate cocoon?

Unknown occupant




Lockdown - Day 44

Week 17; 24 April 2020 - Pivot Fields

As it was the weekend, I could take more time at the farm, although the temperature does ratchet up far quicker now by mid-morning. Nevertheless, when you have both Blue-cheeked and European Bee-eaters on arrival, it is already a good morning.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus)


European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)


In the palm plantation, a White-throated Robin was still present

White-throated Robin (Irania gutturalis)

Along the boundary fence, both male and female Common Redstart's as were seen yesterday

Male Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)

Female Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)




And a few more Spotted Flycatcher's seemed to have arrived overnight

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

My first Lesser Grey Shrike was seen sitting high on an overhead line

Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor)

On the way to the marsh, I stopped in field that had 7 Whinchat's - all male, quite amazing!

Male Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)


And quite a number of Willow Warblers feeding in the adjacent field which had recently been cut which makes the heat haze is really visible..

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)

I stopped at a small pool created by the pivot irrigation and enjoyed Red-throated Pipit coming for a bath

Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)


And then spent quite some time with this Wood Sandpiper catching crickets in a shallow pool. In the time I was there, I saw it catch, soften and eat 5 of these crickets. It seemed to take some effort to swallow as you can see how it distends its neck in one of the images..

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)








In the field adjacent to the small pool, a single Western Cattle Egret foraged directly under the sprinklers

Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)


Down at the marsh, the Red-wattled Lapwing saw me arrive and made itself heard

Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)

Whilst a Black-tailed Godwit flushed from somewhere in the marsh as I got out my car - always a good sighting

European Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa l. limosa)