Compared to most recent years, when for example I recorded 165 species in the county in 2011, 187 in 2012 and 173 in 2013, this has been a particularly poor one with just 157 species recorded by mid December - one of my worst years on record


It's all over - 2012 has come to an end. I managed a total of 187 out of the 198 species recorded all told in Buckinghamshire - 94% of the total - probably my highest-ever annual tally.

The current record is 191 species achieved in 2006 and held jointly by both Rob Hill and Simon Nichols

Monday, 15 July 2013

PURPLE EMPERORS are finally out.....

After last week's failure to connect, Francis Buckle, Tim Watts and I returned to FINEMERE WOODS today, just west of Quainton, and had some great results. PURPLE EMPEROR butterflies were up early and egg-laying in the northern sallows from 0700 hours; several were seen perched between then and 0900 hours before the real show began. We then had at least 7 individuals coming down to the track to feed enabling us all to obtain a nice set of images. They were on constant view until at least 1100 hours, even though the temperature by then had reached a sweltering 32 degrees C (87 degrees F). Two WHITE ADMIRALS were also seen along the main ride, along with 3 PURPLE HAIRSTREAKS and at least 10 SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARIES, as well as large numbers of commoner species including Comma, Large White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Skipper and Marbled White. Birdwise, just 2 COMMON RAVEN (on the pylons), a pair of BULLFINCH, 2 Jays and a singing male Garden Warbler were noted.

Initial views were of individuals perched high in the Oaks and Sallows, some of the females egg-laying

Then, from 9am, off they came to the ground, offering stunning views

Photographic opportunities were enchanting..

PURPLE EMPEROR - my favourite UK butterfly

A Comma perched in the trees