Sunday, 26 March 2017


A basking Comma near Ampthill showing the brush-footed nature of the Nymphalidae front legs very nicely...

Green Tiger Beetle

It wouldn't be spring without a picture of a Green Tiger Beetle, so here you are...

At Cooper's Hill today.

Shieldbug #1 - Gorse

May as well keep score of the shieldbugs that I find this year too, so here's number one, Gorse Shieldbug, on gorse at Cooper's Hill

Ladybird #2 - Harlequin

Noted several Harlequin Ladybirds on a trip to Cooper's Hill. (No sign of Heather Ladybird or Hieroglyph Ladybird - will have to keep trying for them).

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Ladybird #1 - Pine

As a background challenge for this year I think I'll try to see how many of the 23 species of ladybird recorded in the county I can find. So here's number one, a Pine Ladybird on my apple tree...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

First Hatching

Was this the first Bedfordshire "hatching" of 2017? Found shivering in my garden today. I let it sit on my hand in warm sunshine until it felt warm enough to fly off, which it did.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Woodland Orchids

Two Early-purple Orchid rosettes of a patch of 12 in a central Beds woodland:

A bee orchid spotted in the ride of the same wood:

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Orange Tip Challenge

See if you can achieve what I have failed to do - find an Orange Tip pupa in the wild! It may be on garlic mustard (Jack-by-the-hedge) or else on some nearby stems. Whenever I have bred them through at home the caterpillars have always crawled off the garlic mustard onto sticks that I'd provided for the purpose but I'm aware of at least one attempt to pupate on garlic mustard in a garden in Beds in 2016, though that one was quickly predated by something.

Here is what you are looking for, with a shiny penny and a dirty thumbnail for size comparison. This was bred through last year and is patiently awaiting spring in my garden...

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Scarlet Tiger

I wasn't expecting my first encounter with an adult Scarlet Tiger to be in my own Bedford garden. Something flew up as I opened the back door and I was puzzled by this odd "butterfly" until it landed on the hedge and saw what it was. Gosh I thought and rushed indoors for my camera, at exactly the same moment as a courier knocked on the front door, desperate to offload a parcel for someone several doors down. By the time I'd got rid of him the moth had flown up to the top of the tall hedge, requiring a ladder to get even this under-side shot before it flew away.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Parkwood LNR

A delightful visit to Parkwood LNR, Brickhill this afternoon resulted in my first Emerald Damselfly sighting of the year:

Also seen were a couple of Large Red Damselflies,

1 male and 2 female Broad-bodied Chasers,

and an Azure Damselfly and Black-tailed Skimmer. One of the ponds also had a male Smooth Newt swimming in it.

There were also a couple of fresh Commas showing off their new wings:

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Silver-washed Fritillary

My first (male) Silver-washed Fritillary of the year, in Marston Thrift today...

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Melampyrum cristatum "discovery"

An unexpected surprise at Moleskin today - Melampyrum cristatum. There were no prior records for this 10km square in the Flora, and it wasn't known to the County Recorder, but the NBN Gateway shows that the National Trust recorded it there in 2012 and 2015.