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.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Ruddy Darter

I'm currently holding pole position for the first Ruddy Darter of the year, at the small lake south of Marston Thrift car park.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Ledra aurita nymph

The extraordinary camouflage of a Ledra aurita nymph on my apple tree.

I also took some photos on my desk hoping for better shots. It was just after this one that I discovered that the nymphs can jump a considerable distance, taking 10 minutes to discover where it went! (It was safely restored to my apple tree after the photo-shoot).

Old Warden Tunnel

No sooner had Rory put out an email saying that no-one had reported Black-tailed Skimmer yet than I go an see one while doing my butterfly transect. The colours are a bit funny as I had the exposure set to manual and it was a bit over-exposed...

Also flushed a couple of owls, one paused long enough in the gloom to be snapped with the ISO wound up and identified as a juvenile Tawny Owl...

before flying off in a blur of feathers...

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Pogonocherus hispidus

That looks like a tiny longhorn beetle I thought, squinting without my reading glasses at something crawling on the inside of my kitchen window. Aiming my big macro lens at it confirmed the ID as Pogonocherus hispidus (not the very similar Pogonocherus hispidulus which has an extra spike in the centre of the trailing edge of the elytra).

In then flew out of the door, which is presumably how it arrived.

Monday, 30 May 2016


Male Orange Tip on Russian Comfrey at Roxton. Wouldn't be the same in black and white!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

100 Acres

A quick trip to 100 Acres to vent cabin fever when the sun finally came out in late afternoon. There were only a few insects around in the blustery conditions but a very cooperative female Banded Demoiselle kept returning to the same vantage point allowing some close-ups:

The males were much more wary, but I was able to grab a single image which wasn't too bad:

... and a 7-spot ladybird

Herb Robert

Some common flowers are simply taken for granted and over-looked. Here's a Herb Robert in my back garden...

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!