Bonking burnets!

The small male, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moth (Zygaena lonicerae), did not seem to mind being dragged around by the much larger female as she nectared on thistle flowers whilst they remained in copula! Burnet moths (Zygaena spp.) can remain in copula for considerable periods of time, up to 24 hours according to HofmAnn and Kia-Hofmann…

Up on the roof!

It’s that time of year again! The annual battle between Man and Gull, as Herring gulls nest on roofs and chimneys around the town! Let me start by saying that I love Herring gulls – it would be a dull world without them – but I totally understand why not everybody wants them nesting on…

Turnstone plumage

We are lucky to have a small population of Ruddy Turnstones, Arenaria interpres, in Scarborough. They spend most of the year here, except for the summer when they fly up to the Arctic to breed. Before they leave in May, they have usually moulted into their gorgeous breeding plumage (below). Their plumage gradually changes over…

Juvenile herring gulls following gannets

When I came across this melee of seabirds, just off the East Pier in Scarborough, I was a bit confused at first about what was going on! There were large numbers of juvenile Herring gulls taking off and landing in the water. What were they doing? After a while, I realised that there were a…

That’s nothing! I grew up on a lamp post!

Older readers may remember the hilarious sketch by Monty Python where they play four Yorkshiremen trying to outdo each other in terms of how poor and deprived they were whilst growing up! If not, here are a couple of versions of the sketches: For some reason, I was reminded of this sketch whilst photographing this…

A day in the life of a Turnstone

So nice to get a bit of sunshine! Last night was freezing! I was just thinking, how long is it til we fly back to Greenland? Forget it! You are not even the right colour. Remember what we look like in our summer outfits? Oh yes, long time yet. I know. I just like to…

Seaweed flies

The equinoctial gales washed up lots of nice kelp onto the beaches of Scarborough this year (below). The piles of seaweed were gradually pushed up the beach by the incoming tides, eventually accumulating beyond the strand-line, where it slowly decays and eventually dries out. This gift from the sea is a wonderful bounty which is…

Kittiwakes learning to fly

We are coming to end of the Kittiwake nesting season here in Scarborough. There are still some chicks on the nests with their parents, but most have fledged and are learning the joys of flying! Kittiwake chicks spend about 41-42 days (average fledging period) sitting on their nests, being fed by their dutiful parents. They…

Just a bunch of weeds? Birds and bees on the slopes of the Futurist site, Scarborough

This site was created following the demolition of the old Futurist theatre on Scarborough seafront.  Demolition of the building began in June 2018 and was completed in August 2018. A process called ‘slope stabilisation’ created an area of sloping ground (below) which, in this year of lockdown, has filled up with wild flowers. Some might…