Sunday, April 25, 2004


We left the PBC trip to Old Sulehay early to pick up our lad from a friend's house and were presented with this huge moth. It was picked up injured from a path around the housing estates. This is a female and although it layed no eggs it survived for a few days.

Female Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia)

Nikon CP995

Old Sulehay flowers

A few flowers snapped during a very pleasant PBC trip to Old Sulehay. The pansy was the only example in Stonepit Quarry and is probably the first record for the site. The others were in the wood.

Toothwort is a curious plant. It is partly parasitic and partly insectivorous. It parasitises the roots of Hazel and other plants but also traps and digests insects in cavities formed by underground leaves.

Wild Pansy (Viola tricolor)

Arum Lilly (Zantedeschia Aethiopica)

Toothwort (Dentaria diphylla)

Nikon CP995

Hoopoe, Stibbington

Arriving to do my WeBS count at Stibbington in the morning, I flushed a Hoopoe from the entrance track. A year and ten days since the one I saw at Elton Furze! Unlike that one this stuck around so that a few local birders could get to see it. It remains a very rare species locally.

Locals confirmed it had been present for at least a day before but it wasn't seen again after the 25th.

Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

Digiscoped with the Nikon CP995, Leica APO77 and 20x eyepiece.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Drinker

We encountered some excellent moths in Ardnamurchan but those pictures will have to wait. In the meantime here is a closup of the larva of The Drinker. These have a habit of drinking from droplets of water, which gives the moth its name.

Getting warmer, in fact 'Otter

Only seen a wild Otter once before and that was at Loch Arisaig not far from where we were staying on the Ardnamurchan peninsular. However we still considered ourselves very lucky when we came across these very fresh prints on a deserted beach at Bay Macneil near the lighthouse. We were even more surprised when we saw the animal running about in the rocks nearby.

Violet Ground Beetle

This stunning little fellow was found by Alex at Portuairk in Ardnamurchan on the Scottish west coast. It is Carabus problematicus, one of two British species of Violet Ground Beetle. The similar C. violaceus lacks the ridges on the elytra and is a common insect in gardens.