Friday, 2 October 2015

Colletes hederae

A day trip to Suffolk ended with a chance encounter with an aggregation of female Colletes hederae, new to Britain in 2001, digging in the bailey of Orford Castle at about 6:15pm when it was turning cold and the sun had already set on the location. (You can read more about the species here I've still to find it in Beds but I know it was first(?) seen in the Sandy area a couple of years ago.

Only had my toy camera with me so not great shots:

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Comma lifecycle

Raising butterflies at home can be quite easy with many species. Just find an egg (most easily done by seeing it laid) then keep the growing caterpillar supplied with fresh food (nettles for this species). Then provide something suitable for the fully grown caterpillar to pupate on. The nettle sufficed in this case. But there was a sad ending...

The pupa was parasitized by the fly Sturmia bella. A grub emerged today and then pupated:

Saturday, 25 July 2015


A shy valezina form of the female Silver-washed Fritillary in Chicksands Wood today. (My first encounter with this form). Sadly this was the best photo that I could get (sorry):

Sunday, 19 July 2015

White Admiral ab. obliterae

I had hoped for White Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary and Purple Emperor today but had to settle for only the first two. Here are some of the six White Admirals including one showing the aberration obliterae:

ab. obliterae

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Fresh Painted Lady

This Painted Lady in a thistle patch alongside Wilstead Wood was so fresh that I suspect it was made in Bedfordshire.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Anacamptis pyramidalis var emarginata

Found today the pretty and rare form of the pyramidal orchid, Anacamptis pyramidalis var emarginata. (The normal form can be seen behind left). ID confirmed by Richard.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Silver-washed Fritillary

A rather distant glimpse of a restless male Silver-washed Fritillary in Marston Thrift on the 3rd July, so far the earliest report of one in Beds...

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


While Beds was sweltering in 30+C temperatures we had a pleasant 21C and low cloud near St David's, Pembrokeshire. Choughed to see these on my walk around St David's head...

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Golden-ringed Dragonfly just west of Fishguard on 30th June. Wish we had these spectacular beasts in Beds...

Grey Seals chilling

These Grey Seals have the right approach to this hot weather! West of Fishguard on 30th June.

Rose Chafer

A Rose Chafer, Cetonia aurata near Fishguard, seen while on holiday in Pembrokeshire on 30th June. Never seen it in Beds yet...

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Totternhoe Stag Party

It was wonderful hunting stag beetles this evening. Early in the evening Laura (Totternhoe Wildlife Trust warden) showed us a good place to look on Totternhoe Knolls and we found a few fragments of beetle but otherwise no signs. After a brief skirmish to look for noble chafer beetles in a local orchard about half the group went to have one more try for Stag Beetles where Laura had taken us before. It was now about 9:30pm and one was spotted in flight against the dusk sky, quickly followed by others, eventually one coming close enough to be netted. This star posed for all of us to take pictures and we all held it for a while. It was eventually placed onto shrubbery to resume its search for a mate. Wonderful, and well worth the effort to see! Thanks to Alan Outen for organizing this BIG outing and for Laura for showing us where to look.