24.6.15

Spain I: Twilight Toads and Lepidoptera Everywhere

One of my favourite things to do over here in Spain, is go for night time nature walks. A time of 'day' which would otherwise be spent staring at screens until the wee hours is much better utilised popping a headlamp on, getting togged up (or in my case, underestimating how cold it can get at night over here), and getting out to see what lurks around when I'm usually sprawled out in bed. And so, last week, we did exactly that. A few days later, and we also decided to take a trip to see the sierra in it's full daylight glory, and a quick walk before lunch provided us with a enough butterflies to last a  lifetime amongst other stuff. Here's the snaps:

Epidalea calamita
Argynnis pandora
Phoenicurus ochruros
?
Pararge aegeria ssp. aegeria

Autographa gamma



Stay tuned for my June nature diary which I plan to have up by the end of the month...

 In the mean time check out my other YouTube videos! Here are just a couple of them:





8.1.15

Azure skies

Trips to the Sierra whether it be Relumbrar, Segura, or Alcaraz are always a treat for me and one of the things I most look forward to when I'm visiting this part of the world. Today it was the turn of the Sierra del Relumbrar to be graced by our presence, so at 8am, lacking in energy, we hopped into Rafa's car to set off on our little adventure. 

Red Deer

Around an hour later, we arrived. Unlike other trips we'd made to the Relumbrar, once we had arrived we stayed in pretty much the same area, only moving within a couple of mile radius of the three small mountains which provided the centerpiece to both our trip and our views. However, with slightly different habitats as we changed level, we were able to have incredible views of a number of species of which I had previously only had fleeting views, or which hadn't cooperated for me to take a quick snap or video during my last visits. I was also able to life tick two species, Black Vulture which came right at the end of the day, and Imperial Eagle which I was lucky enough to get my first glimpse of within ten minutes of arriving, and the views just kept getting better as the day went on! Here are my photos (some of which I'm pretty proud of, not going to lie), enjoy!

Robin
Red Deer
Stonechat 

Azure-winged Magpies


Griffon Vultures



Wild Boar
Thanks for reading!

4.1.15

¡Hola 2015!

Hey everybody.

I'm  not one for giving a mahoosively in depth explanation of my absence because I'm sure you've all got busy lives to be on with (also there isn't an explanation), but here I am, back again.

My 2015 has started off in an always sunny, but not so warm corner of La Mancha... where else?! Despite the weather basically being the same as back home on our Island, with the new year arrived a miniscule amount of warmth and the opportunity for a brand new year list. A chilled out walk up to the castle and around the village provided some lovely starters for the year, including Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, and a second (but even poorer) view of Dartford Warbler, bustling among the Opuntia plastered rocks as we made our way down the village. Oh, and of course, the usual suspects House Sparrow, Starling, and Kestrel. Not bad for a morning!

Apart from a short expedition into the forest for a session of planting Holm and Kermes Oak acorns and plantlings with ARBA, where heard-only Treecreeper, Sandgrouse, and Woodlark didn't quite make the new list, our only other nature 'excursion' during the last week has been to and from the village. Fences and fences of Goldfinches and Linnets, one Kestrel, and a large unidentified raptor was yesterday's selection, but I live in hope that plenty more trips around those parts will provide me at long last with my bogey bird; Little Bustard.






Have a lovely week and I'll be back with more (hopefully more exciting) posts soon!



24.5.14

Wildlife Watching in Driffield, Spring 2014 | Video

Long time no post!

At long last I am here with another post for Pink Cuckoos, but a bit of a different one. In the past few months I have been trying my hand at making nature videos. They are basically wildlife showreels, and I have just uploaded my third and latest, which can be viewed below. So far the videos have been focused around the flora and fauna of local sites within East Yorkshire, but I'm hoping to expand into a bit of vlogging when I fly out to Spain in a couple of weeks time for the summer, in order to give an insight into the exciting species on offer on the Iberian peninsula.



I hope you enjoyed watching my video - any comments (here or over on my channel!) as well as likes would be really appreciated.

Stay tuned for my next post and video and subscribe!

6.1.14

My Recommendations | Brilliant Botany

The other day whilst surfing the web looking for botany blogs, I found a total internet gem.
     Brilliant Botany is a site full of all sorts of awesome bits and pieces and nuggets of info - stuff from gifs of pine cones opening to stunning close ups of leaves and their cells, and amazing facts such as that NASA are planning to grow plants on the MOON! (Sorry if I'm a bit slow with that news).
     If that wasn´t good enough, there is also a YouTube channel which is equally ace (especially if you´re too lazy to read a blog) - I highly recommend checking both out!

BLOG: brilliantbotany.com

YOUTUBE:

28.11.13

Bird Drawing of the Day: Woodpigeon

    Some of you might remember the series of posts that I used to call 'Biro Bird of the Day', where I showed my biro drawings of birds (duh). Encouraged by some of my friends, I've decided to start over this section renaming it 'Bird Drawing of the Day', as I feel encouraged to use new techniques such as watercolours. For my first drawing I chose one of the commonest birds of our part of the world, the Woodpigeon.

Goodbye old friend... A blog post 8 months overdue



BEN
???? - 2013


Some of you may have seen my post 'Ben...', which I published almost a year ago on here. For those who don't know about 'Ben', to cut a long story short, he's a Churchyard Beetle (Blaps mucronata). He was given to me by my Dad's old Biology teacher, and was sent in the post in a small sandwich container with only some cucumber and a small piece of kitchen towel to his name. Chuchyard Beetles are members of the Tenebrionidae family. They are black, of about 28-30ish mm in size with  slightly pointed abdomen, are flightless, and their habitat of choice (as the name suggests) are dark, damp environments. A letter was sent along with Ben, giving me some information about him, and one of the key points made by David Nash (the biology teacher in question) was that this species wasn't going to live for a great deal of years. I received Ben in February 2003.
        Fast forward to the eve of my 20th birthday, the 8th of April 2013 and Ben was still alive (a decade later!) though wasn't acting himself. He would often 'play dead' as I like to describe it, laying on his back and not moving for a while, but after a gentle nudge with my finger or a pencil he usually came around and was back to crawling around his mini artificial desert in no time. But that night, was different. Ben had been lying, not on his back, but not moving for a few days. Much longer than he would usually play dead. I am sad to confirm that at around midnight between the 8th of April and the 9th (my birthday) 2013, Ben passed on.

Here is Ben's obituary, written by David Nash and featured in the latest issue of Suffolk Naturalists' Society magazine, White Admiral.

I would like to thank David for sending me Ben, who has seen me through half of my life, and who has given me much fascination and has been my most loyal pet. May you rest in piece my coloepterous friend.

The obituary can be found here, and the article 'Is a pet for life even if it is only a Churchyard Beetle?'' here. Unfortunately, the back issues of White Admiral are not available from 2003, and there for the first article is not accessible online. Finally, I also recommend a read of White Admiral which, particularly for those of you in and around Suffolk, provides an excellent read. http://www.sns.org.uk/pages/wad.shtml



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