It’s what I call silly seabird season here in Scarborough. The time of year when seabird chicks fall off the roof! I am talking about Herring gulls of course. A … Continue Reading Silly seabird season! Herring gull chicks.
Red admiral, Vanessa atalanta, butterflies are notoriously territorial, particularly when they occupy their favoured spots in the late afternoon. I have been photographing one particular male this month (24-26 June … Continue Reading I want to get close to you! Habituation in butterflies
Butterflies are nectar feeders and require frequent access to the sugars and amino acids that nectar provides. How do they find the flowers and inflorescences that provide them with nectar, … Continue Reading Where’s the nectar? Butterfly nectaring behaviour
A bumblebee has to open a snapdragon flower (Antirrhinum majus) to get inside. Antirrhinum flowers have five petals arranged into an upper and lower lip that develops a convex shape, … Continue Reading Enter the dragon! Bumblebees and snapdragons
Plodding a regular path near my home, I have been enjoying the emergence of buttercups over the past few weeks. Ever alert to possibility of photographing insects, I have been … Continue Reading Buttercup bedfellows
Over the last few weeks, kittiwakes – or Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) to give them their full name – have been very busy building their nests here in Scarborough, north Yorkshire. … Continue Reading Nest building kittiwakes
There are said to be about 460 species of dung beetles in Europe (Byk & Piętka, 2018), with about 60 of them occurring in the UK. They carry out the … Continue Reading The humble dumbledor: Trypocopris dung beetles
On World Bee Day (20th May 2020) I can do no better than recommend the excellent novel, The Bees, by Laline Paull. The book tells the story from the point … Continue Reading World Bee Day
The last 20 years have seen a remarkable revolution in photography (below). I often think how lucky I am have been to have lived, and taken photographs, throughout the transition … Continue Reading Peek-a-bug: insects lurking in flowers!
Bog Asphodel, Narthecium ossifragum,is a perennial herb (5 -40 cm tall) which typically grows on short wet grasslands on acid soils. It occurs in the British isles, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, … Continue Reading Bog asphodel and toxic saponins
We mammals are quite fortunate in having bones! They reside inside us, and our skeleton grows as we grow. Insects on the other hand, have an external skeleton, or exoskeleton, … Continue Reading Insect cuticle
I like seagulls! But I know that Herring gulls (Larus argentatus) are not universally loved. They are a bit like marmite; love them or hate them! Like us, their world … Continue Reading Seagulls in lockdown
Black. We all know what it is. The absence of light; the opposite of white. But are there gradations of black? Are some blacks blacker than others? The answer is … Continue Reading Butterflies with black wings
Rock doves, or common pigeons (Columba livia), like those shown here have iridescent green and purple feathers around their necks. Both males and females show these iridescent colours, although females … Continue Reading Iridescent feathers of pigeons
If insects could talk – English preferably! – I would like to ask them what they think is the key to their great success! In particular, I would like to … Continue Reading Order, order! Insect diversity.
In this blog, I have delved into the voluminous research on the common fruit fly, or vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and tried to produce a readable, hopefully entertaining, fly-level … Continue Reading A courtship duet: Drosophila melanogaster