Painted ladies on tour – butterfly migration

One of the best known migratory butterflies, the painted lady, undertakes a yearly migration, along what is best described as a ‘continuously breeding migration path’ (Stefanescu. 2013). This annual, multi‐generational round‐trip is essentially a living wave of butterflies which flows north and south each year, with the seasons; in keeping with changes in food resources that follow a…

Red Admirals – European migrants

Migrant Red Admirals Vanessa atalanta (L.), usually arrive in the UK during May and June each year. Like the closely related butterfly, The Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui (L.), these migrations of Red admirals originate from countries around the Mediterranean – possibly as far south as the North African coast. (2) The butterflies fly north on southerly winds to feed on new…

A young turnstone

I came across this turnstone on the edge of the Ria Ortigueira. It was busily feeding – yes they really do turn over stones! – looking for invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, molluscs) along the shoreline. It looked young, and was extremely ‘confiding’ as bird watchers say. Almost fool hardy in fact; not flying or moving away…

The Chaffinch – lucky to live in Europe

Surprisingly, for such a well-known bird, there are quite a few subspecies, or races of the common Chaffinch, which are based on differences in the pattern and colour of the adult male bird’s plumage. Experts differ concerning the total number of subspecies, some listing 10, 16 or even eighteen races (1, 2). Some are noticeably distinct…