For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Dark green Fritillary butterfly

My quest today was to photograph orchids.  I failed to find the ones that I was looking for.
This Pyramidal orchid was nice to see.
This butterfly made up for any disappointments in not seeing the orchids that I had hoped for.
Click for info' on this butterfly.

A Joyeous walk on the South Downs above Amberley, with "The Pride of Sussex".

The Pride of Sussex, Round-headed Rampion, Phyteuma spicatum, is blooming now.
It is wonderful to see it with the Harebells, Canpanula rotundifolia in the foreground.

Above, the view of the river Arun.

Monday 30 July 2012

Foxes relaxing by the pool

The resident fox cubs enjoyed relaxing by the pond in the sunshine at 14.00hr today.

Sunday 29 July 2012

An unusual White Scabious sp.

Scabious flowers, like the one above, were all blue-violet coloured yesterday at Belle toute in Sussex, except for one that was an unusual white flower.
Beautiful isn't it?

Saturday 28 July 2012

Chalkhill blue butterflies today on the Seven Sisters, Sussex

Bellflowers were glorious today.  Dozens of Chalkhill blues, Lysandra coridon were a spectacular sight to see as well.

A female Chalkhill blue.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Living with foxes... & without bonfires.

To the left of the pine tree, on top of a large heap of branches, clippings, weeds and grass cuttings are two foxes at 05.15hr this morning.  Bonfires are utterly antisocial in an urban environment and unfortunately there are a few very antisocial people here.  Garden waste, piled up, rots down fine over the years, gives wonderful displays of fungi in the Autumn and provides a secure home for urban foxes.
These pictures were all taken from a bedroom window.

They do a good job, from time to time, in keeping the pigeon population down.

P.S. Update at 19.45hr this evening.  Three foxes appeared.  One female adult with the lame left hind leg, perhaps hit by a car.  She gets around, yet lacks the energy of the other two.  One is clearly a cub.  It went into next door's garden, returning five minutes later.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Silver-washed Fritillary, Argynnis paphia

Silver-washed Fritillary, Argynnis paphia today in The Long Plantation, Kingswood, Surrey.

This butterfly was flying fast up and down the glade.  It was joined by a second one.  One then flew in a straight line just above our heads, while the second one circled it in a fast-flying corkscrew flight.
It was spectacular.  Then they were gone.

Friday 20 July 2012

Aphid control by Harlequin Ladybird larvae

The growing shoots of this cherry tree were infested with blackflies, causing contorted leaves.
I don't spray and was pleased to see ladybird larvae today, which eat the aphids.
Unfortunately, my garden is now inhabited by the dreaded Asian harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis), which out competes with our native ladybirds.

Ugly looking bug isn't it!  But what is the insect on the Harlequin larva?

Wednesday 18 July 2012

A windy day on The Caburn and Pride of Sussex.

It was blowing a near gale today and drizzling; not a great day for photography.
The blue Pride of Sussex flowers, Round-headed Rampion, were all bent in the one direction in this squall.

An unusual dual-coloured Pyramidal Orchid on The Caburn

Pyramidal Orchids, Anacamptis pyramidalis were blooming profusely either side of the footpath from Glynde up to The Caburn today.
One in particular caught my eye.  What an exotic flower this is.

The flower from above.
David Lang, "Wild Orchids of Sussex", describes albinism as uncommon but strikingly beautiful.
Whilst not completely white, the above specimen is really beautiful.

Tuesday 17 July 2012


Campanula rotundifolia, the Harebell on Burpham Hill, was the third Bellflower that I photographed today; the "Pride of Sussex" below, being the second.

The "Pride of Sussex", Round-headed Rampion, the County flower of Sussex

The "Pride of Sussex", Round-headed Rampion, Phyteuma tenerum, the County flower of Sussex was abundant today above Burpham, with fine views to Arundel Castle in the distance.
Insects love this flower.
The 6-spot Burnet moth, Zygaena filipendulae above and below.

The butterfly looks like a  Meadow Brown.  There were lots of them today.  The fly....might be Episyrphus balteatrus, ... can anyone confirm that?  If so, it is "one of the good guys".  This hover fly's larvae will eat aphids in your garden.

Clustered Bellflowers near Burpham, West Sussex

Campanula glomerata, the Clustered Bellflower, was glorious in the access land from Coombe Lane, Burpham, West Sussex.  I came here today hoping to find Frog Orchids.  I found none.  Yet left enthralled with the flowers in bloom today.

Monday 9 July 2012

Violet Helleborines, Epipactis purpurata are emerging in the High \weald, Sussex today

Violet Helleborines, Epipactis purpurata are emerging in this wood in the Sussex High Weald and the flower heads are expanding.

Above is one photographed 13th July 2012 at Wakehurst Place, for which I'm indebted to Ian from their staff, for showing it to me.  This one is really purple. 

Blog Archive