Stockgrove Country Park, Bedfordshire - Sept 2017
These were more than enough to brighten the day.
 

Jeff Blincow's Blog
About this blog
: this is an enjoyment of the wildlife on our extraordinary planet. These are some of the species I have experienced whilst bio-listing - listing all forms in the natural world.
Wildlife talks and lectures
My websites
Wildlife Observer - helps id UK wildlife
Northamptonshire Wildlife
Photo Gallery - birds, mammals, fungi, etc
Posts
Stockgrove CP, Bedfordshire - Sept 2017
Epping Forest, Essex - Sept 2017
Fungi in Northants - Sept 2017
NordKapp. Finnmark, Norway - Sept 2017
Trollholmsun, Finnmark, Norway - 2017
Sandvik, Porsanger, Finnmark, Norway - 2017
Saproxylic Days - Northants - June 2017

Hairsteak Days - Northants - July 2017
South-central Chile - March 2017
Lomas in the Chilean Atacama - February 2017
Cayambe-Coca, Ecuador - February 2017
Sani Lodge, Rio Napo, Ecuador - Feb 2017
Tapiche Reserve, Iquitos, Peru - Feb 2017
Los Amigos Biological Station, Peru - Jan 2017

Cuba - November 2016
Churchill, Manitoba - October 2016
Arctic Norway - September 2016
Oygarden, Norway - July 2016
Yardley Chase, Northants - May 2016
Crete - April 2016
Costa Rica - February 2016

Southern Chile - December 2015
Northern Chile - November 2015
Arne - October 2015
Norway - September 2015

Norway in the garden - September 2015
Heather - August 2015

The Chilterns - August 2015
Yardley Chase - August 2015

Northampton 2 - July 2015
Northampton 1 - July 2015

Kingsthorpe - Northampton - July 2015
Yardley Hastings - June 2015
Redgrave Fen - May 2015
Wicken Fen - May 2015
Hankley Common - April 2015

Iffley Meadows - April 2015

Bedfordshire - April 2015
Cyprus - March 2015

The Mumbles - February 2015
West Papua - September 2014

Gran Canaria - August 2014
Romania - July 2014
Thursley - June 2014
Suffolk - June 2014
Salcey Forest - May 2014
Colorado - April 2014
Texas - April 2014
Ladakh - India - February 2014
Black Mountains - Wales - February 2014
Northern Argentina - December 2013
Tierra del Fuego - November 2013
Cairngorms - Scotland - October 2013
Blorenge - Wales - October 2013
Burnham Beeches - September 2013
Norway - August 2013
Cornwall - August 2013
West Wales - July 2013
Nepal - April 2013
Bhutan - April 2013
Western Sahara - December 2012
Corby - November 2012
Sichwan - China - November 2012
Tibet - November 2012
Tenerife - August 2012
Norway - August 2012
Sulawesi - August 2011
Norway - July 2010

Pre 2010 Blog

Interesting records

Portia Widow Palpopleura portia


Portuguese Man-o-war


Robber Crab


Springbok


Tiger


Two-tailed Pasha


Welwitschia Bug


California Condor


Beewolf


Christmas Island Red Crab


Comb Jelly Bolinopsis infundibulum


Diademed Sandpiper-plover


Childling Pink


European Common Squid


Honey Bee


Ginkgo


Notiophilus bugattatus


Gorilla


Mexican Amberwing


Mammoth Wasp


Apricot Sulphur


Bosca's Newt


Ocellated Poorwill

Peanut Bug

Chrysotoxum festivum

Wiegmann's Burrowing Lizard


Rhinoceros Beetle

Tokay Gecko Gekko gecko

Gulf Fritillary

Cretzschmar's Bunting

Meleager's Blue


Welwitschia


Alder Tongue Gall


Axius stirhynchus


Concolorous


Cynomorium coccineum


Jewel Anemone


Leptura quadrifasciata


Junin Flightless Grebe


Periander Metalmark


Blue Dasher


Spectacled Caiman


Bottle-nose Dolphin


Carabus Beetle


Common Dolphin


Crab-eye Lichen


Fenugreek Stalkball


Fishing Bat


Fly Agaric


Northern Gannet


Giant Anteater


Glowworm larva


Haematomma ventuosum


Heart Moth

Jersey Grasshopper


Leucotmemis nexa


Lobaria virens


Long-clawed Porcelain-crab


Merveille du Jour


Mirror Orchid


Red Knot


Spring Gentian


Common Sunstar


Ophrys alasiatica


Eurasian Woodcock


Arctic Cowrie


Bombadier Beetle


Clove-scented Broomrape


Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Ampedus balteatus

Birch Sawfly


Cliff Tiger Beetle


Elaphrus cupreus


Golden Pholiota


Green Bee Hawkmoth


Kideney-spot Ladybird

Lapidary Snail


Common Lobster


Moth sp


Orange Ladybird


Psilothrix viridicoruleus


Risso's Crab


Rosy Bonnet


Sea Lemon


Aega crenulata


Amata cysseus


Black and White Colobus


Naked Man Orchid


Corsican Dappled White


Cytinus hypocystis


Forster's Tern


Leucozona lucorum


Gaeana sulphurea


Dendronotus frondosus


Parrot's Beak


Short-beaked Echidna


Cynoglossum creticum


Cheetah


Peregrine


December Moth


Fish-hook Cactus


Helicopter Dragonfly


Larch Ladybird Larva


Lindenia tetraphylla


Mountain Weasel


Ophioparma ventosa


Rhododendron arboreum


Sanderling


Sea Erchin


Black Hairstreak


Blue-rayed Limpet


Cordyceps militaris


Ophrys umbilicata


Downy Emerald


Great Yellow Bumblebee


Lords and Ladies


Mandarin Duck


Hairy Dragonfly


Serpula vermicularis


Snake's-head Fritillary


Worm Pipefish


Yellow-legged Clearwing


Ray's Bream


Tree Nymph


Volvariella surrecta


Brook's House Gecko


Xylota silvarum


Bufo garmani


Cistus Forester


Cream-streaked Ladybird

False Darkling Beetle


Common Starling


Giant Red Velvet Mite


Glacier Crowfoot


Great-spotted Woodpecker


Gymnosporangium clavariiforme


Horned Treehopper


Kashmir Rowan


Lycoperdon echinatum


Lygaeus equestris


London Plane


Minotaur Beetle


Olive Baboon


Red Ant


Ridged Violet Ground Beetle


Rutstroemia echinophila


Tortoise Shieldbug


Sea Buckthorn Bracket Phellinus hippophaëicola


Sea-spider Nymphon gracile


Acorn germinating


Ampedus elongatulus


Common Groundhopper


Variable Longhorn Beetle


Common Toad


Crescentcup Liverwort


Dark-green Fritillary


Golden Centurion


Hard fern


Long-spined Sea-scorpion


Mother of Pearl


Stag Beetle


Orkney Vole


Plateumaris sericea


Pluteus umbrosis


Snakelocks Anemone


Hazel Dormouse


a crab spider Xysticus cristatus


a dung beetle Aphodius fimetarius


Badger


Slowworm


Whooper Swan


Spanish Festoon


Cedar Cup


Cosmopolitan


Ragged Robin


Damon Blue


Waxwing


Wilson's Filmy Fern


Beautiful Demoiselle


Silpha atra


Shaggy Inkcap


Esper's Marbled White


European Robin


Ruddy Darter


Green-winged Orchid


Smooth Newt


Napata walkeri


Honey Fungus


Crested Lark


Notiophilus biguttatus


Ichneumon sarcitorius


Isabelline Wheatear


Wood White


Ophrys sicula


Three-leaved Gladiolus


Little Ringed Plover


Speckled Bush-cricket


Hooded Crow


Torquatus Swallowtail


Salsify


White Wagtail


Barynotus moerens


Black Skimmer


Cabot's Tern


Collared Peccary


Crucibulum laeve


Ctenicera cuprea


Death's-head Hawk-moth


Early Purple Orchid


Elaphrus cupreus


Eurasian Sparrowhawk


Fiery-throated Hummingbird


Firebug


Frisky Guanaco


Graphosoma lineatum


Great Currasow


Grey Phalarope


Humbolt's Hog-nosed Skunk


Lachnaia sexpunctata


Luffia ferchaultella


Passenger Pigeon


Purple Hairstreak


Royal Tern


Rufous-chested Dotterel


Snipe Fly


Southern Viscacha


Tropinota hirta


White-faced Coati

Trumpet Chanterelle Craterellus tubaeformis   Trumpet Chanterelle Craterellus tubaeformis  
   
Epping Forest, Essex - Sept 2017
Hare's Ear and Blackening Russula contributed 60% of the the fungi on display.
 
Hare's Ear Otidea onotica   Hare's Ear Otidea onotica  
   
Fungi in Northants - Sept 2017
There are just enough fungi about to make for a good foray. It is unusual as it is not particularly dry, but still the numbers are low.
 
Yellowing Cup Peziza succosa   Pseudocraterellus undulatus  
   
NordKapp, Finnmark, Norway - Sept 2017
Perfect weather for a day out looking for wildlife on NordKapp. Everything was a bit thin on the ground, but a flock of 8 Sea-eagles was quite novel.
 
Black-throated Divers were on every lake   NordKapp on a calm day  
Heath Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza maculata   Bibio pomonae  
Hygrocybe conica   Siberian Poppy  
   
Trollholmsun, Porsanger, Finnmark, Norway - 2017
I have never seen 5 species of helvellas in a day before.
 
Trollholmsun   Trollholmsun  
Helvella arctoalpina   Helvella dissingii  
   
Sandvik, Porsanger, Finnmark, Norway - 2017
Entoloma heaven with 10 species in a day to go with a fine set of waxcaps.
 
A temperature inversion created these unusual conditions in Porsanger Fjord  
Entoloma griseocyaneum   Entoloma infula  
Entoloma sericeum   Entoloma serrulatum  
   
Saproxylic Days - Northants - June 2017
Beetles are in good numbers this year, but a month earlier than normal.
 
Ampedus quercicola  
Hallomenus binotatus   Brachytarsus fasciatus  
Platystomos albinus   Platyrhinus resinosus  
   
Hairstreak Days - July 2017
It has been good for butterflies over the last few weeks in Northants. Here are some of the finest: a prial of hairstreaks.
 
Black Hairstreak was early this year.   White-letter Hairstreak on bramble in good weather.  
Purple Hairstreak is everywhere at the moment .   Purple Hairstreak  
   
South-central Chile - March 2017
I was picking off some of the rather lovely places I have missed on previous trips to Chile. I visited Nahuelbuta National Park to experience the Auricaria Forests and ventured up the Andes to the Argentine border near Laguna Maule. The Monkey Puzzle forests were right up there with the best places I've been to on Earth - you have to go - it must be on the list of places you 'have to see'.
 
Nahuelbuta National Park Auricaria auricaria   Nahuelbuta National Park Auricaria auricaria (Wow!)  
Maule Valley - terrific scenery and lots of Torrent Ducks.   Explain this?  
   
Lomas in the Atacama Desert - February 2017
The Camanchaca fogs create the coastal fog/mist islands enabling a thriving plant community to survive in one of the driest regions on the planet. No clouds, no mist, no fog, just clear blue skies when I was in the Nacional Parques of Pan de Azucar and Llanos de Challe. At least it clouded over when I was at Paposa.
 
Paposa with the clouds building over the coastal hills   Copiapoa haseltoniana  
Lush vegetation at Pan de Azucar   Copiapoa cinerea var. albispina  
   
Cayambe-Coca just east of Quito, Ecuador - February 2017
An excellent package was put together by 'Neblina Forest' to enable me to visit 3 sites where Spectacled Bear occurs and they had also suggested Sani Lodge. I saw nine different bears, but the Mountain Tapir eluded me. I will have to wait for another trip.
 
Spectacled Bear   Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve  
White-tailed Deer   Andean Condor  
   

Sani Lodge along the Rio Napo in Ecuador - February 2017
My third visit to the Napo and by far the best lodge I have stayed at. The whole setup was first class and gave me the opportunity to hunt for mammals at my leisure. I wouldn't hesitate to suggest this place for a visit and they know their birds as well. Night walks produced lots of stuff and another visit would no doubt continue to produce new things I have not seen.

 
Sani Lodge situated on an Ox-bow lake.   Poepigg's Woolly Monkey  
Velvet Tarantula   Grey-winged Trumpeter  
   
Tapiche Reserve - February 2017
400km from Iquitos in the northern Peruvian Amazon. Well worth the effort and a fine set of birds and mammals. Two species of river dolphin and Bald Uakari were highlights but there is so much to offer and if you want real undisturbed jungle then this is truely miles from anywhere.
 
Red Howler Monkey   Ucayali River where river dolphins often pass by the lodge.  
Great Potoo always special to see in daylight   Yellow-crowned Brush-tailed Rat one of 3 we saw.  
   

Los Amigos Biological Station - January 2017
Lowland Amazonian forest at the base of Peru's southern Andes. One of Amazon Conservation Association's 3 reserves and for me one of the most biodiverse places I have been to. I have been to lots of places which are biodiverse, but it is not always easy to find lots. Here there was stuff everywhere and it was impossible to concentrate of one group of animals. Emperor Tamarin was the highlight but I could go on and on and on about beetles and birds and mammals and...fabulous!

 
Rio Madre De Dios   Saddleback Tamarin  
Emperor Tamarin   Purus Jacamar  
   
The Best of 2016

Velvet Worm


Three-wattled Bellbird


Ant Beetle
 
   
Cruising Cuba in a Chevy
The only way to bird Cuba is in a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. The Northants A team hired a car and driver and didn't look back. The Casa system of hotels is excellent making for an all-round classic trip. It had proved difficult to organise from home but was easy on the ground. If you want to do Cuba I have put together a PDF: Easy Birding in Cuba. You do have to do the birding yourself, but there are guides available at each site.
 
57 Chevy   57 Chevy  
Cuban Trogon   Cuban Tody  
Black-throated Blue Warbler   Black & White Warbler  
Red-legged Thrush   Blue-capped Quail-dove  
   

Churchill Manitoba
Polar Bears at Churchill THE place to go to experience them at their best and on my list of Top 20 wildlife things you must see. It was a superb all-action thriller. The bears are around for only a few weeks at the end of October and the beginning of November; they appear from a long sojourn on land through the summer months and wait for the ice to form in the Hudson Bay so they can go hunting. The weather was a bit wild at times, but it is what you would expect at this time of year. The clouds cleared for one night and I was treated to a dazzling display of Aurora Borealis.
However, the edge was taken off the whole experience by AIR CANADA THE WORST AIRLINE IN THE WORLD. In forty years of travelling looking at wildlife, Canada becomes the first country on the list of countries never to go back to and Air Canada becomes the first airline on the list of airlines never to fly with again!

 
 
Polar Bear   Two young males sparring  
Red Fox (Cross Fox)   Time for a coffee  
Top class Aurora display near Churchill  
   
Arctic Norway - September 2016
A magic trip to Finnmark looking at all forms of wildlife. A hire car made this sojourn a little more enjoyable that my last visit back in 1980 when I was hitch-hiking. Varanger was suprisingly quiet, next time I will visit earlier in the year. However, this was peak time for fungi.
 
Hygrocybe conica var. aurantioluteacea the lovely golden form of conica that occurs in the arctic.   Slettenes the most northerly light-house on mainland Europe.  
Sandfjordneset - I fancied a gentle swim in the sea, but luckily I had forgotten my trunks.   Arctic Redpoll  
White-tailed Eagle   Nesseby on the Varanger Peninsula  
Bluethroat   Reindeer  
Bankera fuligineoalba   Cortinarius philoides  
Siberian Jay   Siberian Tit  
Rough-legged Buzzard   Merlin  
Hydnellum caeruleum   Hydnellum caeruleum  
   

Oygarden, Norway - July 2016
A lovely set of moorland moths in the moth trap each morning. Good numbers of Lion's Mane Jellyfish and lots of fish in the sea. The highlight of the week was this lovely female wasp. Perhaps 'lovely' is not quite accurate: vicious, vindictive little monster would probably be more suitable. It deserves great respect and it is a good idea not to handle it - I didn't get stung.

 
velvet ant Mutilla europaea velvet ant Mutilla europaea  
Scalloped Shell Hydria undulata Bilberry Pug Pasiphila debiliata  
   

Yardley Chase - May 2016
Lots of lovely beetles again although some of them were just a bit boring. It has been a long, cold spring, but finally a fine selection of beetles associating with the veteran trees has appeared. The Deathwatch Beetles were kept busy as each of the trees I saw them on also had Ant Beetles hunting them down.

 
Rhinoceros Beetle Deathwatch Beetle  
Black-headed Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa coccinea Mordellochroa abdominalis  
Ischnomera cyanea Scarce Fungus Weevil Platyrhinus resinosus  
   
Crete - April 2016
They say you should never go back... I was on Crete in 1985 and returned to make a better job of the plants. The whole island is now over-run by sheep and goats and few native plants survive on the agri-plateaus. There are a few bits left with a good set of wild flowers, but, the Lasithi Plateau, are you kidding - it might have had 2000 species of plant, but it certainly hasn't now.
 
Cretan Sheep and Bishop's Ophrys Sitia Orchid and its' nemesis: a Cretan Goat  
Lasithi Plateau: wall to wall agriculture Mount Ida: completely goated out  
Common Cretan Orchid and Calomera littoralis Cretan Tulip and Fan-lipped Orchid  
Yellow Asphodel and Scarce Swallowtail Sparse-flowered Orchid and Cretan Yellow Arum  
   
Costa Rica - February 2016
I wonder why it has taken me so long to visit this gem of a wildlife country? This was a tour of the classic well-known sites close to San Jose. I've no doubt that I will return. We saw some of the all time classics: Replendent Quetzal, Agami Heron, Three-wattled Bellbird and Snowy Cotinga as well as a good set of mammals, so it was worth the wait. We were lied to twice about where to look for wildlife at the Monteverde front-desk - what is that all about? - if they expect to be viewed as a respectable reserve they need to get their house in order! Visitors should go to the excellent Curi Canchi Reserve nearby for an all-round better experience. The highlight of the trip was this gorgeous Velvet Worm at La Selva.
 
Velvet Worm  
Resplendent Quetzal   Red-eyed Tree Frog  
Variegated Squirrel   Violet Sabrewing  
Collared Aracari   Keel-billed Toucan  
Zygogramma violaceomaculata   Green Pit Viper  
       
The Best of 2015

Agonum sexpunctatum


Sandy-stilt Puffball


Rosy Featherstar
 
   
Southern Chile - December 2015
The mainland King Penguin site on Tierra del Fuego goes from strength to strength. After a short detour for Magellanic Plover we then headed north for big cats. Several days of effort at Torres del Paine were eventually rewarded with views of 6 Pumas. On Chiloe Island we were greeted with lots of goodies in the Nothofagus Forests: you don't get more colourful that Ceroglossus buqueti and you don't get any bigger than Phenes raptor anywhere in the world.
 
King Penguin colony site in Tierra del Fuego   King Penguin  
Darwin's Slipper in Torres del Paine   Magellanic Plover  
Puma snack in Torres del Paine   Puma  
Ceroglossus buqueti   Phenes raptor  
       
Northern Chile - November 2015
We had several days enjoying the desert and altiplano east of Arica. Very little survives here unless it is well adapted to the cold and lack of water. It took no time to find a proper bit of desert with nothing but rocks. We only saw 31 species of bird in 5 days and Viscacha and Vicuna were the only common mammals. Diademed Sandpiper-plover was the avian highlight.
 
Proper desert, no life as far as the eye can see.   Azorella compacta survives the harsh condition for thousands of years and was flowering despite the lack of recent rain.  
Lago Chungara in Lauca National Park.   Andean Flamingo at a soda lake.  
Vicunas at Sular de Surire.   The impressive Sular de Surire was our final stop. This soda lake is worth the visit if only for the solitude - apart from the digging and the lorries that ruin this national park.  

 

 
Arne, Dorset - October 2015
A lovely Autumn day on the south coast. The Arne Reserve had a few Spoonbills and a couple of Firecrests, but the highlights were two Water Voles and a Raft Spider.
 
Water Vole   Water Vole  
Water Vole   Raft Spider  
   
Norway - September 2015
A good showing of Aurora Borealis and an unexpected owl were both a real bonus. I was bird ringing with Nigel Goodgame on Øygarden not far from Bergen. Although numbers of common migrants birds were down there were some more unusual species to be enjoyed.
 
Aurora Borealis   Hawk Owl  
Black-headed Bunting   Barred Warbler  
Hydnum concescens   Blue Jellyfish  
   
Norway in the garden - September 2015
For a few days there were Ruff everywhere: garden lawns being most suitable. There was a small but constant passage of raptors heading south in the warm weather that also kept the moth numbers up.
 
Ruff   Brambling  
Sparrowhawk   Goshawk  
Red-green Carpet   Deadly Waxcap  
   
Heather - August 2015
Not for the fist time I was heather bound. I visited several sites in the Surrey Heathlands hoping for the much saught after Hieroglyphic Ladybird. Finally success and there are always other things to see when you have a target. The Shieldbug and Hieroglyphic Ladybird are dependant on Heather Beetle whose presence is erratic.
 
Heather Ladybird   Heather Shieldbug  
Hieroglyphic Ladybird   Hieroglyphic Ladybird  
Heather Beetle   Hieroglyphic Ladybird  
 
The Chilterns - August 2015
Richard Van had me heading for the Chilterns again. Several sites later and we had seen a good range of stuff.
 
Autumn Lady's-tresses   Beewolf  
Parasitic Bolete   Platydracus stercorarius  
Wasp Spider
  Willow Bracket  
 
Yardley Chase - August 2015
Plenty of Great Crested Newt efts in a range of ages. The big efts are the size of adult Smooth Newts. Stacks of other good stuff around to enjoy.
 
Smooth Newt larva   Great Crested Newt larva  
Marbled White   Silver-washed Fritillary  
Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta   Median Wasp Dolichovespula media  
   
Northampton 2 - July 2015
Beetle time again. This reed beetle is more than impressive when photographed with flash. The puncture marks reflect a full spectrum of colours. Three Yellow Mealworm Beetles in a week, a photogenic tortoise beetle and some unusual ladybird examples.
 
Donacia versicolorea   Yellow Mealworm Beetle Tenebrio molitor  

7-spot Ladybird
 
10-spot Ladybird
 
Harlequin Ladybird
  Green Tortoise Beetle Cassida viridis  
   
Northampton 1 - July 2015
The back garden. I was rearranging the logs in my back garden when a solitary wasp Ectemnius lituratus flew by carrying prey and disappeared into a hole in a log. I waited and it reappeared looking rather untidy. I was treated to days of fun as several of them used some old birch logs for their business; not the regular substrate for wasps.
 
Old logs always come up with the goods   Just emerging from a hole and looking a bit worse for wear.  
Ectemnius lituratus and holes   Ectemnius lituratus sunning itself  
 
Kingsthorpe - Northampton - July 2015
It's moth time. The weather has enlivened the moths. A few nice specimens and evidence of migration in Pete Sharpe's back garden.
 

A flight of hawk-moths: Poplar, Elephant and Privet
 
Goat Moth
 

Varied Coronet
 
Small Mottled Willow, a migrant
 
 
Yardley Hastings - June 2015
Time spent watching this logpile was profitable. When the sun came out there were jewel beetles everywhere. They were quick to settle in the bark cracks and lay eggs.
 

Agrilus laticornis
 
Logpile with 100+ jewel beetles
 

Agrilus cyanescens showing its' ovipositor
 
Agrilus cyanescens egg-laying
 
   
Redgrave Fen - May 2015
A day out in East Anglia to look for the big spider. It has been thirty-five years since I first looked for this; it didn't let me down. This one gave a good display, it didn't move for an hour. It was doing what it does well: waiting and waiting and...
 
Redgrave - Little Fen   Great Raft Spider  
Spider pool   Great Raft Spider  
     
I wasn't quite sure how to put my feet up - never done it before, I couldn't bring myself to miss an opportunity.
Wicken Fen - May 2015
A few clicks down the road is one of the best sites in the UK. I moan about the weather, but this was a day with no wind - perfect. The reeds were still and there were beetles everywhere.
 
Wicken windmill   Marsh Click Beetle Actenicerus sjaelandicus  
Agriotes sordidus   Denticollis linearis  
       
   
The Best of 2015

Agonum sexpunctatum


Sandy-stilt Puffball


Rosy Featherstar
2015 is already done and dusted. Agonum sexpunctatum, Sandy-stilt Puffball and Rosy Featherstar are as good as it gets, so the top three for 2015 is complete - roll on 2016 - I can put my feet up until then!
 
   

Hankley Common - April 2015
Its beetle time. A long-hot day was well worth the effort on the Surrey Heathlands. The photos of Agonum sexpunctatum don't do it justice; it's much better in person. There were Woodlarks and Heather Beetles everywhere.

 
Agonum sexpunctatum
Heather Ladybird
 
Tooth-necked Fungus Beetle Laricobius erichsonii
Large Pine-shoot Beetle Tomicus piniperda
 
 
Iffley Meadows, Oxford - April 2015
A lovely setting by the river in Oxford. I meant to drop in and enjoy this spectacle at the end of a trip one day, but never got it organised. This deserved its' own trip out - most enjoyable!
 
Snake's-head Fritillary   Snake's-head Fritillary  
Snake's-head Fritillary at Iffley Meadows   Snake's-head Fritillary  
 
Bedfordshire - April 2015
I ventured into Bedfordshire with Richard Van. We had a nice showing of cladonia lichens at Rammamere Heath and a Blue Shieldbug. Common Groundhopper and a small Eyelash Fungus were at Flitwick Moor and finished with a good display of Pasqueflower at Knocking Hoe.
 
Pasqueflower   Pasqueflower  
Common Groundhopper   Blue Shieldbug  
Devil's Matchstick   Eyelash Fungus  
 
Cyprus - March 2015
A plant and bird trip for two weeks to the Eastern Mediterranean. I had a great time and got to all of the sites. Conditions were ideal for the plants and there were plenty of migrants, so no complaints. The second spot on the best of 2015 roster was taken by Sandy Stilt Puffball at the Tomb of the Kings. That only leaves one place left for the rest of the year.
 
Cyprus Scops Owl   Cyprus Warbler  
Orchis troodii   Ophrys aphrodite  
Ophrys kotschyi   Ophrys sicula  
   
Isabelline Wheatear   Audouin's Gull  
 
The Mumbles - February 2015
A day out to the Mumbles for the 15 year extreme low tide on 20th Feb with Richard Van. The highlights for me were the much sought after Rosy Featherstar while rock-pooling and a Scorpion Spider Crab camouflaged with sponges. The Featherstar already takes one of the three places for best of 2015.
 
Rosy Featherstar   Scorpion Spider Crab  
Five-bearded Rockling   Shore Rockling  
Long-legged Spider-crab Macropodia rostrata   Dead Mans Fingers  
 
The Best of 2014

Snow Leopard


Blue Marlin


Wilson's Bird-of-paradise
 
 

West Papua - September 2014
At last a trip to New Guinea looking for a good number of birds-of-paradise. I was with Nige Goodgame on a Ekonexion tour. An excellent tour with perhaps a little too much rain. Vogelkop Bowerbird gave the birds-of-paradise a good run for their money over which came out on top.

 
Vogelkop Bowerbird
Vogelkop Bowerbird bower
 
Wilson's Bird-of-paradise
12-wired Bird-of-paradise
 
Western Parotia
Wandering Glider
 
 

Gran Canaria - August 2014
A two week family trip to Puerto Rico in southern Gran Canaria. The dolphin trips out of Puerto Rico were just a quick thrash out to see the nearest dolphins for the average tourist. I asked around but no-one kept a log of what they had seen. Far more successful was going on a marlin fishing trip with Blue Marlin 3. They do tag and release, so I saw a marlin and they follow the birds a long way out which was ideal. Fin Whale and Atlantic Spotted Dolphin where the only mammals, best birds were Barolo Shearwater, Madieran Storm-petrel and a pterodroma.

 
Gran Canaria
Blue Marlin
 
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
Barolo Shearwater
 
Fin Whale
Seabirds
 
 

Romania - July 2014
Essentially a trip to see Brown Bear in Europe. After seeing the bears at a forestry hide, I had time to expand my interests. Flowers and beetles were everywhere and Piatra Craului and Bucegi National Park were fine days out. The Transfagarasan was good value but not quite as exciting as the Old Corioco Road in Bolivia.

 
Piatra Craiului
Brown Bear
 
Ctenicera cuprea
5-spot Ladybird
 
Transfagarasan
Pachyta quadrimaculata
 
Chafer
Pharmacis carna
 
Ruby-tailed Wasp
Field Cricket
 
 
Thursley Common - June 2014
It's not every day you find a Snakefly. An Eyed Ladybird with a few less spots than normal was a bonus. It was nice to find Scarce Seven-spot Ladybird at one of the classic site; it was in a tree next to an ant nest.
 
Snakefly
Eyed Ladybird
 
Scarce Seven-spot Ladybird
Triaxomera parasitella
 
 
Suffolk - June 2014
A Flat Bug and a Spongefly on the same day was pretty good.
 
Aneurus laevis
Aneurus laevis
 
Spongefly Sisyra fuscata
Cream-spot Tiger
 
 

Salcey Forest - May 2014
Out with local beetle expert Richard in a local forest - lots about. The southern section kept giving all day long and it was a shame to go home.

 
Black-striped Longhorn Beetle Stenurella melanura   Oomorphus concolor  
Anisoma humeralis Anisoma humeralis on Enteridium lycoperdon  
Woundwort Shieldbug Eysarcoris venustissimus Hedobia imperialis  
Cellar Cup Peziza cerea
Agonum muelleri
 
 

Colorado - April 2014
This was an extension to our Texas trip. Having help from Dick Philby made the trip possible in the short time we had allowed - a big thanks. This is one of those iconic trips that all birders should go on - we had a great time.

 
Colorado   Greater Sage Grouse  
Sharp-tailed Grouse   Dusky Grouse  
Aspen   Elk  
American Dipper   Greater Prairie Chicken  
 

Texas - April 2014
A classic trip taking in Whooping Crane and the extralimital birds of the Rio Grande area. Then a quick look around Concan west of San Antonio and finishing with a few days just east of Houston. Travelling with Nigel, Sissel and Bob ensured a civilised and enjoyable adventure. A good number of bird species were seen, the trip was enhances by plenty of butterflies and reptiles.

 
Rio Grande   Altamira Oriole  
Speckled Racer   Great Blue Heron  
Anahuac   Blackburnian Warbler  

Scarlet Tanager
 
Hooded Warbler
 
     

Ladakh - India - February 2014
An excellent trip with Nige Goodgame. We were successful and had several views of Snow Leopard. A couple of days acclimatising in Leh allowed us to see Wallcreeper, Ibisbill and Fire-fronted Serin. Winter in Hemis National Park appears to be the best bet for looking for Snow Leopard at the moment. The trip was well organised by Phunchok Tsering of Exotic Travel. As if Snow Leopard wasn't good enough, the company made the trip. Dick and Denise joined us from Aspen, Colorado and Duncan and Duncan and Debbie from Hunts, UK - Yo!

 
Hemis NP   Wallcreeper  
Blue Sheep   Rumbak Valley  
Snow Leopard   Snow Leopard  
Brown Dipper  
Black-throated Thrush
 
     

Black Mountains - Wales - February 2014
I took in the Severn Bore on the way. The plan was to have a few days preparing for looking for Snow Leopard in Ladakh. The weather was the worst I have seen in more than 50 visits to the Black Mountains: gale force winds and white out conditions meant I only met two other groups of walkers in 8 hours on one day. Conditions were ideal to test out my clothing. Found a tree covered in the lovely Jelly Tooth Pseudohydnum gelatinosum on the walk up Skirrid.

 
Severn Bore   Cat's Back  
Jelly Tooth Pseudohydnum gelatinosum Jelly Tooth Pseudohydnum gelatinosum  
   
The Best of 2013  


Squamanita paradoxa


Himalayan Monal

Gentoo Penguin
 
     
Northern Argentina - December 2013
This turned into a sprint across Argentina where we saw a good selection of what was on offer.
A fabulous trip was spoilt by a dreadful car hire experience with Alamo. The car was not fit for the journey from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires; it broke down 4 times and we lost several days. The vehicle green card was out of date for which I was fined $200 by the Argentine police.
 
Southern Right Whale   Elephant Seal  
Toco Toucan   Elegant-crested Tinamou  
Iguazu Falls   Great Dusky Swift  
Surucua Trogon   Black-throated Mango  
     

Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia - November 2013
A Northants 'A' Team trip across Argentina with Bob, Nick, Mark and myself. The Beagle Channel was an excellent place to start our trip. Martillo Island and the penguins were very special. The highlight of our whole trip was a day out on Penguin Island near Puerto Deseardo run by Darwin Tours. This company were very professional and ran an excellent day out - many thanks.

 
Beagle Channel   Gentoo Penguin  
Snowy Sheathbill   Darwin's Bread  
Ruddy-headed Goose  
Magellanic Snipe
 
Rockhopper Penguin   Rockhopper Penguin  
Commerson's Dolphin   Chubut Steamer Duck  
Magellanic Plover   Dwarf Armadillo Zaedyus pichiy  
     

Cairngorms - Scotland - October 2013
A classic trip to Speyside looking for fungi. October proved to be a little late in the year. Each day there were lots of tooth fungi and boletes. Highlights were the Drumstick and Snakes' Tongue Truffle Clubs. With a bit of effort I was able to find the associated False Truffle Elaphomyces granulatus.

 
Cairngorms   Scaly Hedgehog  
Hydnellum Peckii   Cairngorm Sunset  
Drumstick Truffle Club   Snake's Tongue Truffle Club  
Glen Affric   Amanita rubescens var annulosulphurea  
     

Blorenge - Wales - October 2013
I have tried this sojourn for waxcaps and other grassland goodies on several occasions. You only know when you get there how good it will be and this was an excellent visit with close to 20 forms of waxcap. Squamanita paradoxa was also a good find.

 
Parrot Waxcap Hygrocybe psittacina var psittacina   Parrot Waxcap Hygrocybe psittacina var perplexa  
Big Blue Pinkgill   Parrot Waxcap with unusual colouration  
Squamanita paradoxa  
Vermillion Waxcap
 
     

Burnham Beeches
Two trips this autumn produced a lovely set of fungi. A pity it's dominated by dogs like so many other reserves.

 
Burnham Beeches   Porcelain Fungus  
Powdery Piggyback   Silky Piggyback  
Ceratiomyxa porioides   Ceratiomyxa porioides  
Clavulina coralloides / Helminthosphaeria clavariorum   Death Cap
 
     

Norway - August 2013
A family trip to Vik near Bergen with Nigel and Sissel. Plenty of fishing and ringing. White-tailed Eagles everywhere.

 
True-lover's Knot Bar-tailed Godwit  
Common Hawker Lemon Sole  
Pollack  
     

Cornwall - August 2013
Hours of fun and frolics moving from one traffic jam to another. Well worth the effort - lack of Cornish Sucker photos has frustrated me for years.

 
Buoy Barnacle   Cornish Sucker  
     

West Wales - July 2013
I was primarily looking for 5-spot Ladybird. I wasn't planning on seeing a larva, but I've seen plenty of adults abroad and so a larva turned out to be just fine.

 

Dune Tiger Beetle

2-spot Ladybird Larva
 

5-spot Ladybird Larva

7-spot Ladybird Larva
 
14-spot Ladybird Larva Cream-spot Ladybird  
     

Nepal - April 2013
I planned the route myself to take in my target species. Having just been to Bhutan, I focused on the Terai. I booked with Rajendra Suwal at nepalnaturetvl@gmail.com. He turned out to be an excellent guide for both birds and mammals with a great deal of background experience in conservation and guiding. I visited Chitwan and Bardia with a focus more on mammals than birds. My mammal report can be found at: Jeff Blincow - mammals in Nepal. Everest was photographed on the flight to Bhutan.

 
Chitwan   Indian One-horned Rhino  
Chitwan   Smooth-coated Otter  
Rhyothemis variegata   Trumpet Tail  
Silver-backed Needletail   Greater Painted-snipe  
Sarus Crane  
Everest
 
Gharial  
     

Bhutan - April 2013
This small himalayan country is truely special - unique. I planned the route myself to take in my target species. Having seen Black-necked Crane and Red Panda in China made this a bit easier. I used Bhutan Birding & Heritage Travels. I communicated with Hishey Tshering at hishey@druknet.bt - I got my own guide and a driver for the whole of the trip - very good. The Lingmethang Road was one of the best places I have been on earth. My mammal report can be found at: Jeff Blincow - mammals in Bhutan.

 
Blood Pheasant   Himalayan Monal  
Golden Langur   Rhododendron kesangiae  
Rhododendron edgeworthii   Rhododendron falconeri  
Ward's Trogon   Gaeana sulphurea  
Zhemgang Road   Capped Langur  
Beautiful Nuthatch   Amata cysseus  
       
The Best of 2012  

Tibetan Fox

Red Panda

Ibisbill
 
 

Western Sahara - December 2012
A mammal trip primarily looking for Sand Cat. We had a successful trip despite a car-break-down and many happy hours at police and military check-points. Richard Webb's excellent report of our trip can be found at: Morocco and Western Sahara 2012.

 
Km 216   Fat-tailed Jird  
Lesser Egyptian Jerboa   Oued Jenna South  
Desert Sparrow   Western Reef-egret  
     

Corby - November 2012
Pleased to get the chance to see Coral Tooth in Northants. Local conservationists had found this on ash and were carefully looking after the site.

 
Coral Tooth on Ash   Coral Tooth  
Coral Tooth  
Inocybe geophylla var lilacina
 
     

Sichwan - China - November 2012
An extension to the Tibet trip was looking for Red Panda in the mountains of Laba He in Sichuan. This is a good time of year to see Red Pandas as they feed on berries high in what looked like Himalayan Spindle. We also saw Long-tailed Goral, Tibetan Macaques, and some excellent birds: Lady Amherst's Pheasant, four species of parrotbills and lots of lovely laughing-thrushes and phylloscs.

 
Laba He Lady Amherst's Pheasant  
Red Panda Red Panda  
Tibetan Macaque Dusky Thrush  
Grey-hooded Parrotbill
a silk moth Rhodinia jankowski
 
     

Tibet - November 2012
I travelled to Tibet on the 'Mammals of the Roof of the World' tour run by Greentours. This proved to be a great experience and an excellent way to visit one of the most remote parts of the world. Tibetan Fox and Saker were the trip mascots appearing on almost a daily basis. Some fine mammals seen early on were Tibetan, Goitred and Przevalski's Gazelles plus a successful hunt for Pallas's Cat. Birding highlights were six species of snowfinch, Pallas's Sandgrouse, White-eared Pheasant, Black-necked Crane, and Henderson's Ground-jay. The Hume's Groundpeckers at Old Qumalai were most entertaining and Argali, Chiru and Wild Yak on the Chang Tang were just super.

 
Tibet Scenery   Tibetan Fox  
Przewalski's Pinktail   Saker Falcon  
White-rumped Snowfinch   Ibisbill  
Hume's Groundpecker   Chiru  
Bar-headed Goose   Henderson's Ground Jay  
     

Tenerife - August 2012
A family holiday to Los Christianos in Tenerife. Plain Swift is the best flier of the swift's, but doesn't get high enough billing because of it's name - it should be renamed Urgent Swift or Speedy Swift or even Swift Swift.

 
Mount Teide   Canary Blue  
Cory's Shearwater   Tenerife  
Plain Swift   Scarlet Darter  
Yellow-mouthed Barracuda   Ornate Wrasse  
     

Norway - August 2012
Staying with Nigel and Sissel in Vik near Bergen. Lots of lovely jellyfish everywhere. Most were Lion's Mane, but about one in a thousand was a Blue Jellyfish.

 
Blue Jellyfish   Corkwing Wrasse  
Cuckoo Wrasse   Lion's Mane Jellyfish  
       
The Best of 2011      

Golden Cup Caloscypha fulgens

Spectral Tarsier
Nepenthes pitopangii
 
     
Sulawesi - August 2011
This was a birding trip to Sulawesi and Halmahera. Lots of lovely birds and mammals everywhere. Diabolical Nightjar and and Tarsier were the best that Sulawesi had to offer, Standardwing was all that Halmahera needed to shine brightly. We saw the best set of night birds we have seen anywhere.
 

Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher
 
Green-backed Kingfisher
 

Black Crested Macaque
 
Spectral Tarsier
 
 
Norway - July 2010
A family trip to Vik near Bergen with Nigel and Sissel. Swimming with comb jellies and Lion's Mane Jellyfish was most enjoyable and cold.
 

White-tailed Eagle
 
a comb jelly Bolinopsis infundibulum
 

Poor Cod
 
Cod