Wednesday, November 30, 2016

argali who art in heaven

We had amazing views of argali this year in Qinghai...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

red panda

The highight of the Sichuan leg of our China tour is always the red panda, there was a lot of disturbance from roadworks at Laba He this year but we had great views on the first day.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

pallas' cat

The jewel in the crown of the Qinghai leg of the Greentours trip I do is undoubtedly Pallas' cat. We have run four trips so far and seen this little beauty on every occasion. But we have never got as close as we did this year!


My first lifer in Sweden for some time, Siberian accentor, after missing a whole month of the huge European influx this autumn I bag a late one in Småland just up the road. I have been waiting for this one since I arrived in Sweden as it was the most likely vagrant to stray onto my list here. The remaining five potential species on the Swedish list that would be world ticks are so cosmically rare that I doubt I will live to see one of them in Sweden but you never know... My long-distance twitching days are pretty much over!

Monday, September 26, 2016


Finally bagged not one but two Merveille du jour (Griposia aprilina) in the garden trap this morning.

Friday, September 16, 2016

huge moth find

This Nothocasis sertata trapped on the 15th is probably the rarest moth so far in the garden. The first record for Halland occurred this week too.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

heavy moth in the garden

Bagged a good moth in the garden this week with a nice Agrotis puta - a recent arrival in Sweden, first spotted in 2009 but with annual records thereafter. New for BK.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Y oh Y

Moths have been trying to cheer me up since the Brexit referendum and particularly the Plusiinae (Ys and brasses). Last year I only bagged Autographa gamma but this summer I finally met Autographa pulchrina (above) and jota (below).

in my brain

Despite a by no means warm summer I am doing well with the traps this year. Upgrading to a 125W mercury vapour lamp is paying real dividends too. This purple cloud (Actinotia polyodon) was much-wanted and was as good as I thought it would be!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Moma mia!

An incredible week for moths. Three traps out and over 300 photos per session has produced a huge number of new moths for me and none more eagerly anticipated than my first Moma alpium. Identifying 100+ species is brain-melting though!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

slipper time

Just had a great week-long tour on Gotland with a great group of people, the highlight being (as usual) the lady's slipper orchid show.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

the tau of mothing

Ed Parnell came over for the weekend recently from Wymondham in my old home county of Norfolk and I promised him Aglia tau, one of two species of Saturnid here in BK. We only had to wait half an hour before this guy came blundering to our light trap in the dark beech woods above Klarningen. What a beauty.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Orthetrum ransonnetii diagnosis

Desert skimmer (Orthetrum ransonnetii) made it onto the Western Palearctic list in 2007, just too late to be included in KD's field guide. I recently found one in northern Oman and offer you this brief photo comparison with Orthetrum chrysostigma to aid identification.

Orthetrum ransonnetii - note the white hind wing membranule, lack of waist and dark subcostal crossveins.

Orthetrum chrysostigma - note the dark membranule with small adjacent yellow border in the hindwing, the waisted abdomen and the pale subcostal crossveins.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

the emperor

The kids tried my new emperor moth lure recently and pulled in BK's first ever Saturnia pavonia when this male zig-zagged around them. Incredibly (because they had no net) they presented it to me in a pot when I returned from putting out a trap!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Madagascar Odonata highlight No 4 - a new Nesocordulia to science

We found at least five new species to science during this amazing tour but none was more exciting than KD's discovery of this new Nesocordulia at Mantadia National Park. This genus is restricted to the islands of Madagascar and the Comores.

Madagascar Odonata highlight No 3 - a new Lestes to science

Our last potentially new species to science was a surprise Lestes! We were tired at the end of the tour and it took a while for the penny to drop as we went through photos at the end of the penultimate day. Luckily by working suitable habitat on the last day we came up trumps. An elusive species that took to the tree-tops as soon as it was disturbed.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Madagascar Odonata highlight No 2 - our first new species to science

After the excitement of re-discovering Crocothemis striata, we did not have to wait long for our first new species to science. KD found this little 'Diplacodes'-like libellulid whilst searching an almost odo-free marsh at Ranomafana. He failed to bag a specimen on the first visit but the weather was kind and we got a second chance. There are plenty of known unknowns on Madagascar many of which we also found but this was a genuinely new species! Sorry to go Donald Rumsfeld on you!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Madagascar Odonata highlight No 1

Day 1 of the inaugural Odonatours bash in Madagascar started with a bang when KD re-discovered Crocothemis striata, this species has been unrecorded since it's description in 1981 so this was a great result. Madagascar rocks!