Monday 1 January 2018

A Double Year Roundup! - 1st January 2018

Well it has been a whole two years since the last post on this blog and to say a lot has happened is an understatement. Shortly after my last post in 2015 a big change in my personal life led to me changing priorities somewhat as I had to find somewhere to live and basically rebuild my life again from scratch hence why I haven't posted since. All I can say is never underestimate the power of family and friends as I couldn't have got through it if it wasn't for their support. On a brighter note things are really looking up now, I've settled down and since I last posted I've become the Northamptonshire Butterfly Recorder! During the initial turmoil I forgot to pay for the domain name for this blog and subsequently lost it but luckily I've been able to rectify this in 2018 and start it again. This post isn't going to compensate for the lack of posting too much as it's merely a selection of photo highlights over the last two years but I'm planning to use this platform to promote the butterflies of Northamptonshire in the future so it feels right to try and fill the gap.

2016 - A Steep Learning Curve

I started the year in a bad way but luckily for me friends were keen to drag me out. I find nature has an incredible ability to take one's mind off things and it's amazing how clear your head becomes after a day out enjoying wildlife. During the winter of 2015/16 my friend Doug Goddard had asked me to take on the role of butterfly recorder in Northants as he'd been doing it for 30 years and due to a significant change in his circumstances too he wanted to take a step back. My passion for local butterflies had meant it's a role I'd considered myself doing in the future but I have to admit I hadn't quite expected it happening so soon! After some gentle persuasion I agreed but with some degree of trepidation as after all Doug Goddard and Andy Wyldes are incredibly knowledgeable so to join their ranks was something of an honour so I just hope I've done them proud. The good news is I did get out a few times while I wasn't preoccupied on the laptop dealing with butterfly records so here are a few of my favourite photos from 2016, I won't go through them all as the post will be too long!

Drinker Moth Caterpillar, Salcey Forest
Wild Boar, Forest of Dean
Black Hairtreak, Glapthorn Cow Pastures
Brown Hairstreak, Shipton Bellinger
Duke of Burgundy, Beds
Autumn Ladies Tresses, Cambs

Common Darter, Northants

Eyelash Fungus, Salcey Forest
Emerald Damselfly, Northants
Common Frog, Northants
Green Hairstreak, Beds
Green-winged Orchids, Northants

2017 - Life Is Good!

After my jump into the deep end I've come out the other side almost a new me! My rather frantic year in 2016 has taught me quite a few lessons in life and after a lot of research and panicking has hopefully made me an acceptable county recorder too. I will admit I didn't realise just how much work goes into the role and from the outset and it became clear that the recording aspect was the easy part! On the bright side though it's a role I'm beginning to love. There are many times when the challenges of conservation can make life a little depressing but the battles we do win make it all the more the rewarding. Here are a few photo highlights from 2017 -

Amethyst Deceiver, Hazelborough Forest

Bleeding Oak Crust, Salcey Forest

Blue Rock Thrush, Glos

Wild Boar Family, Forest of Dean

Brimstone Egg, Grange Park
Bufftip moth, Pitsford Reservoir

Caspian tern, Clifford Hill, Northants

Chalkhill Blues, Spanhoe Airfield, Northants

Chalkhill Blue, Spanhoe Airfield, Northants

Dartford Warbler, Dorset

Octopus Stinkhorn (aka Devils Fingers), Rushmere Country Park

Dingy Skipper, Twywell Hills and Dales

Green-winged Orchid, Brackmills, Northampton

Hawfinch, Forest of Dean

Hawfinch, Forest of Dean

Highland, East Northants

Herald moth, Pitsford Water

Ivy Bee, Yeoman Pub Garden, Wootton

Ivy Bees, Yeoman Pub Garden, Wootton, Northampton

King's Cliff Veteran Beech

Migrant Hawker, Ecton GP, Northants

Nursery Web Spider, Salcey Forest

Orange Peel Fungus, RSPB Sandy

Orange-tip Pupa, Northants

Porcelain Fungus, Salcey Forest

Purple Emperor, Fermyn Woods

Purple Hairstreak, Bucknell Woods

Purple Hairstreak egg, Bucknell Woods

Red Admiral, Ravensthorpe Reservoir

Sallow Kitten Caterpillar, Salcey Forest
Sand Lizard, Dorset
Sand Lizard, Dorset

Scarlet Elf Cups, Salcey Forest

Small Copper Egg, Ravensthorpe Res

Yellow Staghorn and Puffball, RSPB Sandy

Common Stinkhorn
Silver-washed Fritillary form valezina, Fermyn Woods

Wall Lizard, Dorset

Waxwings, Roade

White-letter Hairstreaks, Fermyn Woods

As for 2018 I'm hoping to be able to update a little more about what I've been up to now I'm in a better position to do so!


  1. Nice read David 😊 hopefully can have a day out again soon!

    1. Thanks Kirsty and yes we do need to sort something out. It's been a while ha ha :)

  2. Amazing photographs and a great read. Thanks for your encouragement and sharing all that you do. 2018 is going to be the year of the Purple Emperor for me. Wouldn't mind seeing the Duke as well. Happy 2018 Dave.

    1. Happy 2018 to you too Roger and many thanks for the kind words!

  3. Great to see the blog back, David. So many great photographs!

    Thanks for what you're doing for the butterflies in Northants; have a great year and hope to bump into you in one of the county's butterfly sites in a few months time.

    1. Thanks Chris and I hope you have a good and butterfly filled new year. I'm planning to use this as a platform to promote the butterflies in the county so watch this space :)

  4. Good on ya for coming through the last couple of years Dave. Beautiful series of photographs and here's to many more wonderful moments within the natural world.

    1. Thank you Lucy, I guess life would be boring if it wasn't for these challenges! I hope you're well and enjoying the Warwickshire countryside :)

  5. Great pics Dave, good to see the blog back in action.See you for the dawn chorus.


    1. Thanks Chris and yes it will be good to see you again on the Dawn Chorus walks..........soon rolls round doesn't it!

  6. In addition to spotting tese beautiful creatures during this amazing wildlife holiday, I was extremely lucky enough to be graced with the presence of two manatees (sea cows) and watch their "dancing" mating ritual.


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