Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Green-winged Orchids

Green-winged Orchids are in flower at the moment, and not always purple:

Common Heath

Quite a lot of Common Heath moths on Sharnbrook Summit NR today. Very difficult to approach, but this male eventually stopped long enough for a close up:

as did this female:

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Cooper's Hill - Green Tiger Beetles

I expected to see a flush of newly emerged Green Tiger Beetles today at Cooper's Hill and wasn't disappointed. They gave me the usual run-around, refusing to be photographed, but I was able to snap one or two when it became overcast and they slowed down a bit:

Cooper's Hill - Cladonia lichens

Some very attractive Cladonia lichens in "flower" on Cooper's Hill:

Cooper's Hill - Minotaur Beetle

A female Minotaur beetle, Typhaeus typhoeus, out for a ramble on Cooper's Hill today.

Cooper's Hill - Muntjac

Butterfly record processing for 2015 complete, and Adnoto enhancements put on hold for a day, my first serious wildlife outing of the year took me to Cooper's Hill for a potter round. This Muntjac was wandering around, bold as brass!

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 http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=content/colletes-hederae-mapping-project). 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.