Thursday, 1 November 2012

Plane-tree Bug (Arocatus longiceps) at RSPB The Lodge TL188480 on 24/10/12 - confirmed by county recorder Bernard Nau, who thinks it may be the first record outside of central London where this immigrant species was discovered in 2007 in the grounds of the Natural History Museum.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Muntjac Deer - MVCP

Male Muntjac Deer photographed by Martin Palmer near the MVCP boardwalk close to the visitors centre.

Friday, 12 October 2012

I believe this impressive beast is a Birch Sawfly larva (Cimbex femoratus) - about 4.5 cms. On a birch trunk at The Lodge 12/10/12.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Common Darter and Pillinge view - MVCP

A Common Darter in the MVCP Sensory Garden by the visitors centre, and the view from the Pillinge hide. Photos by Martin Green.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Tim Robson's Grass Snake

Tim Robson's wife took theese two pictures of a Grass Snake in their Bedfiordshire garden on the 18th September 2012.  Actually it looks as if the snake was more on the patio than in the garden.
Grass Snakes will be looking to hibernate at this time of the year, often in a compost heap or similar site. Grass Snakes are not poisonous and will eat a lot of garden pests so are the 'gardeners friend'.

Posted by David Anderson.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Late flying White-legged Damselfly

This late flying male White-legged Damselfly was photgraphed by Andrew Makeham in the field stream next to the River Ouse at Kempston on the 9th September 2012.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Is this an image of a Common Hawker dragonfly?

Photograph of a possible Common Hawker dragonfly taken at Keysoe in North Bedfordshire by Bob Bellamy on the 3rd of August 2012.  Common Hawker is not a species seen in Bedfordshire and known sites are a considerable distance away.  The species is fairly similar to Migrant Hawker and careful attention to details are necessary to seperate the two species, particularly to see the yellow leading edge to the wings.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Wood Mouse - Kempston

This photo was taken by Martin Palmer in his garden in Kempston. As Martin said not all that come to his garden birdfeeders are avian, this Wood Mouse is a regular visitor searching for fallen seeds.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Jersey Tiger in Kempston

This Jersey Tiger was photographed in his Kempston Garden on 22nd August 2012 by Martin Palmer. It is the 3rd record for Bedfordshire following records at Biggleswade in 2009 and Bromham in 2011.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Dark Spinach in Lower Stondon

A Dark Spinach on 11th August was a new moth for our garden and the third record for the county this year, following ones at Biggleswade and Bromham earlier in the year. Photo: Melissa Banthorpe

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Small Ranunculus moth larvae are about now

Checking some Prickly Lettuce, Lactuca serriola, in Kempston today I found 15 larvae of the Small Ranunculus moth. These distinctive larvae are green or brown and and can be hard to find but look for plants where the flower buds have been obviously eaten away. The larvae tend to rest along the stalks.

Below are a couple of photos taken today (8th August) and also the distribution map of the species in Bedfordshire up to the end of 2011.

Please look out for these and report your findings with count, location and a photo if you are not sure to Melissa and I as we are the county Macro-moth recorders (

Two quite well grown larvae
A single larva eating a flower bud

Distribution of Small Ranunculus in Beds up to the end of 2011

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Purple Emperor

It's only taken me four years to seen one of these things on the ground at Chicksands.  Purple Emperor, Chicksands Wood, 22nd July 2012. (ps not a bad photo considering it was taken using my phone!)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Black beetle duo

Beetles are a species group that I know little about, other than the well-known and more distinctive species (partly because I have not really looked much). Here are two black ones that I have come across, one I recognised and one I don't...

Minotaur Beetle found in Rowney Warren at the end of April while unsuccessfully searching for potential Firecrest, Woodlark and Tree Pipit in what looked like suitable habitat. First I had seen.

UnID beetle from my garden moth trap, 28th June, Thanks to replies received, seems to be Nicrophorus humator which I have had in the garden twice before but previously looked longer than this. Seem to remember the previous one being a bit smelly as well...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Horned Leafhopper (Ledra aurita) - our largest leafhopper at c.15mm (5p) - The Lodge 2/7/2012  at TL187479. Not often seen because of damn good camouflage!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Interesting micro moths from King's Wood

Three interesting tortrix micro-moths caught in King's Wood Heath & Reach on the Beds Moth Group field trip on 26th May 2012

Capua vulgella - new to Bedfordshire

 Lobesia reliquella - the first Beds record since publication of the Victoria County History in 1904

Epinotia tetraquetrana - the 3rd Beds record (the other two were at Sutton Fen in 1982)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Totternhoe and Bison Hill butterflies

Had an excellent day in the sun this weekend, seeing 13 butterfly species although unfortunately Duke of Burgundy wasn't amongst them. Highlights included:

Small Blues at Totternhoe Quarry
Small Blue
Small Blue
Small Blue
Green Hairstreaks at both Totternhoe and Bison Hill
Green Hairstreak
Green Hairstreak
Grizzled Skipper at Bison Hill
Grizzled Skipper
Dingy Skipper which took a brief break from chasing off the small blues.
Dingy Skipper

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Argyrotaenia ljungiana?

I caught the above named species last year and was wondering if this is also this species - seems similar but not exactly the same.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Brown Hare - Woburn Rd wetlands

A Brown Hare at the Woburn Road wetlands. Photographs by Martin Palmer.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Aethes smeathmanniana

My first micro of the year - yes its that good in my garden...  Thanks for confirmation Ben

Saturday, 12 May 2012

MVCP - 12th May 2012

Common Lizard, Dingy Skipper & Large Red Damselfly at the MVCP today. The Common Lizard was the star of the show for me. I've not seen many on the park and this one, which was found on the board walk by a couple of young girls, was so tame if even walked under one of my boots at one point. The Dingy Skippers were the first I've seen this year with around 8 -10 seen between the boardwalk and the area around the bridge at the Stewartby Lake outlet of the sewage works stream. Bob Hook and I also looked for Grizzled Skippers and Green Hairstreaks in this area with no luck. Photos by Martin Green.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Sunspots- MVCP

I took this photo with my 100-400mm lens through thick fog early in the morning. If you look at the full-size image you should be able to see some sunspots, particularly on the lefthand-side of the sun. Photograph by Martin Green.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dogs at Broom
Prairie Dogs at Broom, 6th May 2012.  Up to four of these beasties are currently residing in a field edge near the gravel pits.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Chinese Water Deer - MVCP

This Chinese Water Deer was photographed by Martin Palmer from the MVCP access track.

Monday, 9 April 2012

A Tumble of Toads

I went past one of the ponds in Maulden Woods at the end of March and came across large numbers of toads making their way to the toad equivalent of speed dating. Not sure what the collective name is for this particular activity but a "tumble" seems suitable for what I was watching.
An orgy and a voyeur... ?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Ashy Mining Bee

Found a small number of males buzzing around a patch of sand at the lodge on Tuesday. Hopefully some females will make an appearance soon. From the distribution map on the BWARS handout they seem to be quite scarce this far east.

Andrena cineraria (m)
Andrena cineraria (m)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Scarce Bordered Straw larva

Diana McCarrick found this caterpillar on some locally bought Carnations she was throwing out on 7th Feb. We identified it as a Scarce Bordered Straw from a photo Mick, her husband, had sent us and Andy and I collected it this afternoon to breed through. It's the first larval record of the species in the county. All previous records refer to migrant adults but this larva has arrived on the Carnations. Although the origin of the flowers is unknown they are most likely to have been imported from Kenya. Thanks to Diana and Mick for allowing us to take custody of it. Photos Melissa Banthorpe