Orchids come and go!

Orchids flower over quite a long period, with the dates of the flowering season varying somewhat with latitude. In Scarborough, I spotted (sic) my first Common spotted orchid – in the meadows of Scarborough Castle – on the 9th June this year (2016). See below. There must be quite a lot of individual variation between…

Such good parents!

Kittiwakes are such good parents! They each spend roughly the same amount of time on the nest looking after the chick(s), whilst the other goes in search of food. During the day, each bird is away from the nest for about 2 hours and 48 minutes (on average) apparently, searching for food to bring back…

Bees knees and tongues!

Since it’s Bees Needs week, I thought that I would put together a blog about bees using photographs I have taken recently in Scarborough and Spain. Taking photographs of bees is fun, but it is a bit of a hit and miss process and you need to take quite a lot of shots to get…

Tiny green metallic wasp

I took a picture of this fly, which I think is a common Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria), sitting on the inflorescence of an umbelifer plant. When I looked closely I noticed that there was also a tiny little, metallic green wasp in the photograph as well (far left). There is not much to go on,…

Spaced out aphids!

I remember being delighted when, as an undergraduate studying zoology, I first came across the term ‘spaced out gregariousness’. This memorable phrase was coined by Professor J S Kennedy (1912-1993) and colleagues to describe organisms such as the sycamore aphid, which are gregarious – they are attracted to the presence of another aphid – but keep…