High Summer Hiatus

An exciting day today.  We pick up the keys to our new home, the purchase has gone through very quickly by UK standards.  Things were made easier as this is the property we wanted to buy at the end of last year but it fell through, so we had all the paper work in place.  Luck was on our side as it came back up for sale (another buyer had to pull out) as we were finalising the sale of our old place.  The house is bigger than anywhere we have lived before and we have plans and visions for decorating etc.  We hope to get the essentials done before moving in the furniture which is presently in storage.  The garden is small and not very butterfly friendly, so that needs addressing.  There is a number of mature shrubs that require a look at but best of all it has a small but lovely wildlife pond.  Fingers crossed I could have dragonflies on my doorstep!

All this work means time (we still have our day jobs to do as well).  We will be staying at the ‘Old Apple Store’ until the furniture is in.  I cannot envisage having any spare time to get out and about with the camera anytime soon, or for writing any new posts.  So, I am going to take a break for a short while.  I do hope to find a moment or two to visit your blogs and catch up with what everyone is doing (can’t work 24/7) so until whenever a few shots from the past couple of weeks.


Mid-July and the Gatekeepers (Pyronia tithonus) start to appear.  Also known as the Hedge Brown as this is just the place to see these charming little butterflies.


Who needs a full set of wings?  A very old and battle scarred Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)


Very pleased with this in-flight of a Norfolk Hawker (Aeshna isoceles) over the old canal.  Also known as Green-eyed Hawker, you can see why.


Look what I spotted!  This rather unassuming looking bird is a Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata).  This used to be a fairly common sight however between 1967 and 2010 the population of this summer visitor from Africa has dropped by 89%!

Holly Blue

A fresh, second generation Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) seen in the same spot as the Fritillaries.

Meadow Brown

The Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) is probably the commonest and most wide spread of the high summer butterflies in England.

Essex Skipper

The Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) was the last British butterfly to be identified.  This was because they look like the the Small Skipper (T sylvestris).  The difference is the colour of the underside of the antenna tip!  On Essex the tip is all black and on the Small, varying shades of brown.  The males also have different shaped sex brands (line on the upper forewing).  As these butterflies are so small you have to get real close to tell them apart.



44 thoughts on “High Summer Hiatus

  1. Lovely to see the Flycatcher. Used to have them nesting at a previous home – they chose a spot between the branches of a creeper and the back wall. Could see the heads of the young peering out. Remember watching the adults catching flies and returning to the same perch each time – great acrobats. Thinking about it, I haven’t seen one for ten years now. Had no idea they’d declined that much but it makes sense. Beautiful shot of the hawker!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. First of all, congratulations on your new home !! It is a big step and an exciting one. We are trying to sell our penthouse, we want to move on, to Spain or Cyprus. Hopefully before next winter.

    Wow!! How did you manage to capture the flying Green-eyed Hawker, absolutely stunning! And so are the other images you share here, perfectly photographed beauties!!
    Wish you good luck with your new home Brian!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations on the sale and your new home!!! I hope you get dragonflies at your pond too. These images of butterflies, skippers, and bird are beautifully taken as always.

    I know you’re going to busy getting moved and settled in. I look forward to your return. Best of luck with the move in!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello Brian,
    Congratulations on your new home! I can imagine it will be a manic time to move in and get settled in. Please try and take it one day at a time, and of course stay safe and healthy. I too, hope the dragonflies will come to your pond 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Congratulations on the new home, Brian, and may you have many happy and healthy years to look forward to there!

    All the best with the hard work ahead, and thank you for tiding us over with these beautiful images until next time!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mike and in answer, yes, no and no (always run into problems, having spent 40yrs as a boat builder I get sick of trying to sort things out, hence the reason I now stack shelves in a supermarket!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m no fan of DIY either Brian. I’d much prefer to get the experts in but the price of workmen over here, let alone the materials, is so high you have to get involved sometimes. I’ve lost count of the number of (mainly painting) jobs I’ve done during the lockdown. But if you built boats you must be a skilled craftsman. Either way, good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on closing on the home! I can imagine how much work is in your near future. Can’t wait to see your captures once everything is in place. Take care and give yourself at least a few minutes of fun every once in awhile. By the way, guessing that Flycatcher is a scary sight for the Butters in the area – not sure if they are bold enough to take on the Dragons or not – around here they tend to leave them for the bigger Kites who prefer to eat them in mid-flight.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks B, yes a lot to do but we have all the time so no great rush and for fun I keep playing with the pond! Found newts and dragonfly nymphs already.
      The Spot Fly will certainly take out the flutterbys and damselflies but it ain’t hard enough to tackle dragons!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fantastic news on your new home! Exciting times ahead with planning and executing!

    No worries about keeping up with blogs and things. We will wait patiently right here.

    Love your images here. The Hawker in flight is great! The butterflies are lovely and it’s amazing how similar some of our local species are.

    Best of luck as you begin to settle in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Four days solid work and we have made a little progress but a long, long way to go. Hope to settle in in a couple of weeks and carry on renovating from there.
      Glad you like those shots Wally and as Arnie said “I’ll be back!”


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