Saturday, December 31, 2011

31st December

I still have three iris larvae in hibernation in / around Savernake Forest - so no losses during December (but from a very small sample, and after heavy losses / disappearances during November - it may be that some crawled considerable distances to find hibernation places during the very mild November, though others were almost certainly predated).

And a huge flock of Brambling & Chaffinch along lower Three Oak Hill Drive ('Column Ride'), probably 400-600 birds in all, feeding amongst beech litter over about 1 ha of ground beneath tall beech trees. That easily doubles my life tally of Brambling...

Seasoned Greetings to all followers of The One True Butterfly...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter twilight

-1°C and still moving!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How To Look After Your Emperors at Christmas...

Seasoned greetings to all our followers, from HIM and Herself...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How not to look after your Emperors part 2

Another day, another wood! The signage says the work will help safeguard the rare butterflies such as Purple Emperor. We think not nor White Admiral as all the honeysuckle has been ripped out! The felled sallow is just one, it had been a massive beast but they left the spindly ones exposed so the first gale (which was probably last night) will probably snap the tops off!

We also particularly liked the image on the new signage!!! White Admiral not! A simple case of going into google, and typing White Admiral so the an american wiki page comes up with a picture of a White Admiral but it is Limenitus arthemis or similar. Words fail us! Photos taken by Andrew M

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fermyn Woods Wind Farm

Interesting piece in today's Daily Telegraph about the battle over the proposed wind farm in between the two main blocks of Fermyn Woods, East Northants - the heartland of the Purple Empire. Mentions Purple Emperor, as has other media coverage to date. See -

Incidentally, the evidence I presented to the public inquiry openly admitted that the wind farm will not significantly threaten the Fermyn iris population, but argued that it will devalue the Purple Experience - visitor experience - and will devalue or desecrate the intense feeling of Spirit of Place that we can experience there. In addition, I pointed out that the area is also an important literary landscape - for those of us who love BB's writings (and Dryden!).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Continental empire

First snow and first sightings of hibernating larvae in Switzerland (Jorat forest, north of Lausanne). We're launching a small research project in collaboration with local woodland managers. No Apatura ilia so far (but last sighting was 30 years ago...)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011