An unreliable memoir

Archive for April, 2015

White-legged Snake Millipede

White-legged Snake Millipede

Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f22 1/90 ISO 800

Tachypodoiulus niger.

I like these guys, although I suspect this chap, wandering in the middle of the path in broad daylight, was not well.


Shelduck Eyes Left


Nikon D5200 Tamron 500mm f8 1/500 ISO 200

“Don’t look now dear but those bloody geese are at it again.”

Shelduck numbers in the UK have dropped by 23 per cent since the mid-1980s, with an especially marked decline in the last four years (BTO).



Eupeodes luniger
Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f22 1/180 ISO 200

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Eupeodes luniger. And while we’re on the subject of bling in my garden, I’ll throw in Notiophilus biguttatus:

Notiophilus biguttatus

Orchid Observers

Orchid Observers

Photograph wild orchids and extract data from three centuries of Natural History Museum specimens to help examine what impact climate change is having on the UK’s orchids:

“Fifty-six native species of orchid grow wild in the UK, flowering from April to September. Recent research indicates that climate change is affecting the flowering time of the early spider orchid, Ophrys sphegodes. We want to find out if this is true for other wild orchids and whether all species are responding in the same way, starting with 29 species. To gather data from across the UK, we need as many people as possible to photograph orchids this spring and summer, and to send us the images with the date and location. Alongside this, we have around 15,000 orchid specimens in the Museum’s British and Irish herbarium. Collected over three centuries, they can tell us about flowering times in the past. Extracting data from so many specimens is a huge task, so we need your help.”

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Nikon D5200 Tamron 500mm f8 1000mm 1/350 ISO 1000

The Egyptian Goose – designed by a committee? On a cold winter day I’m always excited by a skein of geese honking their way across a grey sky. But we’re talking Greylag, Canadian, Barnacle, etc, not Egyptian geese. Not my favourite goose then, and certainly not my best ever photograph but I’m including it here because it was my first ever Egyptian goose, along with a few other boxes ticked on this day, e.g. pintail – but that photo was even worse.

10,000 Green Wings

Green winged orchid

Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f11 1/180 ISO 200

Lying on my stomach, dew soaking though my shirt, surrounded by 10,000 green winged orchids (Anacamptis morio). This is as good as it gets. I’m ready now.

Green wings:
Green wings

Unusual pink form:
Green winged orchid

My favourite springtail

Folsomia candida
A few months a go I shared my favourite woodlouse, so I thought it was only fair to share my favourite springtail, Folsomia candida (although I am also partial to Tomocerus longicornis). These insects are about 2mm long, this shot is a 3.9X magnification.

Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f22 200mm +68mm 1/125 ISO 800

This Is Not A Bunch Of Roses

Malus domestica James Grieve

Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm ƒ27 1/125 ISO 200

Malus domestica James Grieve.

It’s the mad swiveling eyes that get me


Nikon D5200 500mm f8 1000mm 1/350 ISO 1000

… but enough about Nigel Farage. Actually, this was one of the most chilled hares I’ve ever encountered. It was well aware that I was there but it carried on feeding until eventually it decided that I’d got quite close enough, then it lollopped slowly away.