Sunday, 27 April 2014

Early Purple Orchid

I must count myself fortunate to have found three spikes of Early Purple Orchid in an extremely large wood where it hasn't been seen since 1995. I got lucky!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Common Lizard

While walking my butterfly transect at the Wildlife Trust Old Warden Tunnel nature reserve I keep a look out for other things, and today a Common Lizard was also looking out for me...

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Waiting for the sun...

A bee in my bee hotel, doing the same as me, wondering if the sun is ever going to come out?

Monday, 21 April 2014

South from Blunham

A walk today upstream from Blunham along the banks of the Ivel held plenty of interest.

The copper beech near Blunham always shows a range of subtle colours:

A white dead nettle had somehow lost its top giving an unusual view of the flowers arrayed around the stem:

Lots of pied shieldbugs:

Dandelion clocks:

Possibly a Phyllobius pomaceus weevil on nettle:

Nettle-tap micro moths are now common on nettles:

A Female Green-veined White:

A male Orange Tip:

Another Orange Tip (male I think - there is a hint of orange)

A couple of currently-unidentified beetles playing leap-frog:


Just been testing a home-made flash diffuser for my new Coolpix P7800. Seems to work okay...?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Marston Thrift

Another cold damp grey and fruitless orchid-hunting day, this time within Marston Thrift, but stunning displays of bluebells and primroses, supplemented with lesser celandine and bugle, still made it a very enjoyable outing.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Bed Spring

Drew a blank looking for orchids around north east Beds on a cold grey day, but the weather couldn't totally supress spring. Some of the road verges are awash with cowslips and a delight.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Podops inuncta

Some carpet tiles that we put out at Mowsbury Hill are yielding a few surprises. No herpetofauna so far, but glow worm larvae have turned up under some of them and today there were some tiny shieldbugs that I'd never seen before, that pushed my field macro to the limits being only 4-5mm long, subsequently identified as Podops inuncta, known as the Knobbed Shieldbug on Bernard's FSC guide, and as the Turtle Shieldbug on the website. Bernard's name makes more sense as they have the weird knobs on their shoulders.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Honey Bees drinking

A muddy wheel-rut was providing a convenient source of water for honey bees today, with dozens topping-up at any one moment. I guess the nest/hive wasn't too far away.

Early-purple Orchid

The orchid survey is very usefully giving me specific targets to visit with defined objectives. (Much better than bumbling around the same old sites every week!) Today I went to try to rediscover Early-purple Orchid at a wood where it hadn't been seen since 5th May 1997. I got lucky with just one plant found, still to open. (I'd looked in this site last year without refinding, so it's worth revisiting sites again this year if you scored a blank last year).

Monday, 14 April 2014

Morchella semilibera

There were around a dozen of these half-free morels under hawthorn scrub at Mowsbury Hill LNR on Saturday, with some tiny ones just emerging. Alan Outen kindly confirmed my tentative ID and added that it was a new 10km record.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Green Hairstreak

Visited Marston Vale Millennium Country Park today to try to find Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak. Failed on the first two species, possibly needing a few more days(?), but did seen two Green Hairstreaks occasionally interacting. Here's one of them ...