British butterflies early this spring


This video from Britain is called Wildlife in our garden.

From Wildlife Extra:

Butterflies have had an early spring into action

Small tortoiseshells not only came out of hibernation a couple of weeks early, they were also seen in incredible numbers compared to previous years

April 2014: UK garden wildlife has sprung into action early this year according to the latest figures from the British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) garden birdwatch scheme. This scheme monitors the changing fortunes of birds and other garden wildlife through its network of ‘citizen scientists’. Observations collected by BTO Garden BirdWatchers are analysed by BTO researchers and published in leading journals.

Butterflies demonstrated the most dramatic patterns of emergence. Small tortoiseshells not only came out of hibernation a couple of weeks early, they were also seen in incredible numbers compared to previous years, with 23 percent of Garden BirdWatch gardens reporting them. In comparison, their previous highest emergence peak was 12 percent in 2012.

Brimstone butterflies also had a very good start to the year. The first few individuals were not seen much earlier this year than in previous years but the peak emergence in 2013 was just four percent compared to 21 percent of gardens reporting them in March this year.

Hedgehogs were also seen far earlier in the year than is usual, with the first individuals … being reported during late February, almost a month earlier than was the case in 2013, and up to two weeks earlier than in any of the last five years.

In contrast, amphibians, such as common frog and smooth newt, were not seen earlier than usual, but there appeared to be something of a mass emergence, with a surge in reports from participants’ gardens. From early March, both species were seen in more Garden BirdWatch gardens than they have been for the last five years.

Clare Simm, from tBTO’s Garden BirdWatch team, commented: “As you can see, Garden BirdWatch is not just about birds. Our volunteers provide us with vital information on other taxa too, helping us to understand how important gardens are as a habitat for all wildlife. It’s too early to tell how the early emergence of these species will affect them, but it is an exciting contrast to the patterns of emergence that we saw last year.”

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Endangered North American butterfly fights back against climate change


This video is called The Endangered Quino Checkerspot Butterfly.

From Wildlife Extra:

Endangered butterfly fights back against climate change

April 2014: The endangered Quino Checkerspot butterfly, found in Mexico and California, is defying climate change by adapting both its habitat and diet, a study has revealed.

The butterfly suffered dramatic population collapses during the last century along the southern edge of its range in Baja California as a result of climate change and agricultural and urban development.

But rather than heading toward extinction the butterfly has adapted to the changing climate by shifting to a higher altitude and changing its host plant to a completely new species.

Other species have been seen changing either habitat or diet to cope with a changing climate but the Quino Checkerspot may be amongst the first butterfly species to change both.

Professor Camille Parmesan from Plymouth University, explained:

“Quino today is one of the happy ‘surprises’, having managed to adapt to climate change by shifting its centre of abundance to higher elevation and onto a plant species that was not previously known to be a host.”

See also here. And here. And here.

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More Costa Rican birds, and moths


Black phoebe, 17 March 2014

Still, 17 March 2014 near Bosque del Paz in Costa Rica. Not only hummingbirds, but also other birds, like this black phoebe.

They behave somewhat dipper-like on rocks in mountain streams. But they are an American flycatcher species, unrelated to dippers.

A golden-browed chlorophonia.

On the other side of the stream, a chestnut-capped brushfinch.

Black guan, 17 March 2014

In a big tree, a big bird, living only in Costa Rica and Panama: a black guan.

Rufous-collared sparrow, 17 March 2014

In a smaller tree, a much smaller bird with a much bigger geographical range: a rufous-collared sparrow.

A collared trogon.

Moth, 17 March 2014

Then, time to switch from telephoto lens to macro lens. From birds to moths which had gathered on the building.

Moth, Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

There are thousands of Costa Rican moth species, and I am far from an expert in these species. So, I know there were various moth species, but not which species.

Moth, in Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

Hawk moth, 17 March 2014

The largest specimens belonged to the hawk moth family.

Hawk moth with two smaller moths, 17 March 2014

Finally, a Central American agouti with a baby on the other river bank.

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Bee digging nest, video


This video says about itself (translated from Dutch):

8th April 2014

Andrena vaga is a solitary bee, rare in the Netherlands. Only the females dig a nest, and they mainly feed on willow pollen. Filmed by René Peeters.

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Stag beetles fighting, video


This is a video about two male stag beetles fighting near Bingelrade in Limburg province in the Netherlands.

Ien Rutten made the video.

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Frog and reptiles in Costa Rica


Strawberry poison dart frog

As I reported, we were near La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, on 16 March 2014. There was a strawberry poison dart frog.

Green basilisk, 16 March 2014

A green basilisk.

Crested guan, 16 March 2014

Crested guan in a tree.

Great curassow in a tree nearby.

While on the ground, there is busy traffic on leaf-cutter ant highways. In one direction, ants bring back pieces of leaf to their colony. In the opposite direction are the ants which yet have to get a piece of leaf.

Ground anole, 16 March 2014

On a piece of leaf along the rainforest path, a ground anole lizard.

Central American whiptail lizard, 16 March 2014

A Central American whiptail lizard later.

Mantled howler monkeys call.

A black-throated trogon on a branch.

A dusky-faced tanager.

We went back to the entrance. Stay tuned!

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Robin singing, butterfly flying at cemetery


This video is called Brimstone Butterflies; Gonepteryx rhamni.

Now, a wildlife report.

This time, not from Costa Rica (many more will appear on this blog, but thousands of photos, some good, some not so good, still have to be sorted out. So, please be patient).

Today, I went to the cemetery not far away.

A chaffinch sings.

A wood pigeon flies into a tree.

A blackbird sings.

Two carrion crows in a tree.

Great spotted woodpecker sound.

Nuthatch sounds. One of them climbing on the lower part of a small tree.

A chiffchaff sings.

A jay on a tree.

A brimstone butterfly flying.

Great tit sound.

A robin sings from the top of a tombstone close to me.

Nine magpies together in a treetop.

As I leave, a male chaffinch on the ground.

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Ladybugs and other insects on video


This video shows various insect species.

Including pine ladybirds during mating.

R. Veerling from the Netherlands made the video.

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Costa Rican flowers, butterflies and bees


Orchid bee

This is a photo of an Euglossa orchid bee. Photographed in Alajuela, Costa Rica, on 14 March 2014.

Orchid bees are important pollinators in Costa Rica.

The orchid bee of the photo was probably attracted by the beautiful flowers nearby.

Flower, Alajuela

Flower, Alajuela

Zebra longwing

Apart from the postman butterfly which I already mentioned in another blog post, these flowers also attracted other butterflies, like this zebra longwing.

Butterfly, Costa Rica, 14 March 2014

There was also the butterfly on this photo. I am not sure about its species, as there are various orange-coloured butterflies in Costa Rica.

Stay tuned for more on the Poas volcano, and other Costa Rica stuff!

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