Monday, June 30, 2014
Not one of my better photos, but it's a Purple Emperor, so I can't be too picky. It was fairly high up a tree in Wiltshire. The following words have been lifted from www.thepurpleempire.com...
The Purple Emperor is neither the rarest, nor the largest of Britain’s resident butterflies. So how has this elusive insect managed to maintain such a hold on the imagination of generations of the UK’s amateur and not-so-amateur lepidopterists? His elusive nature is, perhaps, part of the appeal. This is not an insect you will stumble upon, unless you are blessed with extraordinary luck. He must be sought out, in suitable country, and even there the untrained eye may totally fail to spot him unless he knows how to look. And yet, this is not another humble brown retiring beast, easily confused with many similar dingy species, but a soaring rush of colour and spectacle – a flash of black, purple and white that sets the heart beating faster. He flies higher than most, and maintains a lofty perch during the middle of the day, as befits his regal reputation – so if you would wish to add his photograph to your collection, you must either content yourself with perhaps a pair of antennae protruding over the edge of a distant leaf.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
A Mountain Hare in ermine on CairnGorm Mountain, Scotland, photographed in March. This is quite a large crop. The conditions up the mountain were pretty horrible - strong winds and low cloud. The Mountain Hare is only found above 500m, and even then it is now confined to Scotland, the Peak District and the Isle of Man. Global warming will likely push their preferred habitat even higher, potentially shrinking their potential habitats even further.
Friday, June 27, 2014
The Large Blue became extinct in the British Isles 35 years ago, and now exists once again in a small number of sites due to a successful reintroduction programme. This one was photographed earlier this week in Gloucestershire. It also becomes the 500th species to make it on to the species list.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
After so long away from home, it was nice to get out in the Forest of Dean this afternoon. The sun was shining and there were a good number of insects on the wing. This is one of three Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries seen today, along with Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, Common Blue, Large Skipper. The highlight of the dragonflies today was a Golden-ringed. Woodlark still singing, Tree Pipits still displaying and a Cuckoo still calling. It's almost like I was never away!
I'm back home after 5 weeks filming for BBC Springwatch. It was my first visit to RSPB Minsmere - an awesome reserve managed by an equally awesome group of RSPB staff and volunteers. This was me filming a bee swarm on the root plate of a fallen tree, which was broadcast at the end of programme 5.