Nov 042017
‘Decimated’: Germany’s birds disappear as insect abundance plummets 76%

A new study in PLOS ONE reveals a 76 percent reduction in Germany’s flying insect biomass over the past 27 years while another reports the country’s bird abundance has declined 15 percent in just over a decade. While the causes behind the insect decline haven’t yet been conclusively studied, the PLOS ONE study suggests agricultural […]

Aug 172017
Osprey Farewell

It has been many weeks since I reported on the Lake District ospreys. The good news was that the pair of ospreys had been successful in rearing two chicks and I returned this week knowing that they had fledged. I wanted to see them before they left on their long migration to West Africa. I […]

Jan 202017
Bird species vanish from UK due to climate change and habitat loss

Climate change has already led to the vanishing of some bird species in parts of England, where intensively farmed land gives them no room to adapt to warming temperatures. The revelation, in a new scientific study, contradicts previous suggestions that birds are tracking global warming by shifting their ranges. The research found that birds that […]

Jan 162017
Where are they now?

Everyone seems to be pretty well informed about the migrations of monarch butterflies in North America. Long distance southbound fliers end up in southern states in the east and in refuges in California and Mexico in the west. In spring, northbound females lay eggs that hatch into butterflies that fly north and lay eggs, reaching […]

Aug 292016
Storms devastate monarch butterflies' habitat in Mexico

Storms earlier this year blew down more than a hundred acres of forests where migrating monarch butterflies spend the winter in central Mexico, killing more than 7% of the monarchs, according to conservationists. Rain, cold and high winds from the storms caused the loss of 133 acres (54 hectares) of pine and fir trees in […]

Jul 072016
The flight of the painted lady butterfly shows migration in all its beauty

Every summer, a wave of intrepid migrants travel from north Africa to Europe, seeking a better life for their offspring. Many thousands, occasionally millions, reach Britain. The painted lady, a beautiful and powerful insect that is probably the most successful butterfly in the world, will star in a 90-minute BBC4 documentary in July in which […]

Jul 052016
Beitostølen and Valdresflya

Our stay in Beitostølen with visits to Valdresflya continues to produce some interesting birds. On Valdresflya I have seen the Long-tailed Skuas again but they have been too distant for pictures. The two male Long-tailed Ducks seem to have their own areas on a lake and may well have a female on a nest nearby. […]

Mar 182016
Solar farms to create natural habitats for threatened species

Threatened wildlife including turtle doves and skylarks could benefit from a scheme which has been launched to create natural habitats at solar farm sites. The project by wildlife charity RSPB and clean tech company Anesco aims to boost wildlife at the firm’s solar farms across England and Wales. Wild flower meadow areas and seed-rich planting […]

Dec 202015
Wildlife decline threatens UK's biodiversity, study finds

A decline in wildlife is threatening core functions of the ecosystem that are vital for human wellbeing, researchers behind an unprecedented study of biodiversity in the UK have warned. Climate change and habitat loss are leading to a reduction in biodiversity, with species that act as pollinators and natural pest controls most at risk, the […]

Jul 122015
Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is one of my favorite plants for its globe of sweet florets and the bounty of butterflies, bees, and other creatures it attracts. Within a milkweed stand there is a large community being nourished along with any onlooker’s imagination. A weed of milk . . . common milkweed is abundant in beauty and […]

Mar 242015
Flower Hill Farm Butterflies of 2014

Here are some Flower Hill Farm butterflies of 2014 sighted in our gardens. I have listed all of the butterflies in this collage by families on my garden blog to help readers learn more about these species — There were more Monarch Butterflies in 2014 than sighted in 2013 in our Western Massachusetts gardens. […]

Aug 112014
Scarce swallowtail

Comparison between Iphiclides podalirius VS Iphiclides p. feisthamelii  What a pleasure to go after dragonflies and find this gorgeous specimen on my doorstep in the lavander!    Un Flambé magnifique, un des plus beaux papillons d’Europe, dans la lavande du jardin. Ces plants isolés m’ont offert un bokeh assez uni mais je n’ai pu me concentrer […]

Jul 232014
Rare yellow-legged tortoiseshell butterfly spotted in UK

A butterfly last seen in the UK more than 60 years ago has been spotted in parts of East Anglia. The yellow-legged tortoiseshell, also known as the scarce tortoiseshell, was seen at RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk. Additional sightings have since been reported in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, said Butterfly Conservation. Experts believe the butterflies, usually found […]