Jump to content

Nature notes

Most of these pages feature nature from Honeyguide holiday destinations. There are also some related to Norfolk, plus a miscellany of special web pages, listed on the right.

Naturally, there is lots of information about nature everywhere on www.honeyguide.co.uk. Of particular note are the many reports about the Rhodope lily, Lilium rhodopaeum here, a species supported through our Bulgaria holidays.

We hope they give insights into some favourite wildlife. There are fewer new 'nature notes' pages in more recent years as often new material has instead been published on the Honeyguide blog. 

Poker Wood, the story of a new Suffolk wood.

Poker Wood, from Antonia's gate
Holly with Willow Emerald ovipositing scar, Sutton Fen (Ann Greenizan)

Willow emerald damselflies: new trees and shrubs for egg-laying producing scars like those on holly, left.

Owl research in Latvia. Results and perils on our Latvia owls web page.

Ural owl (Latvian Owl Research Society)

Ural owl
Lavatera triloba, musk-scented lavatera

La Mancha flora, an ID guide to some tricky to identify species in this Spanish region.

Cretan Bluet, damselfly

Cretan Bluet Coenagrion intermedium
wood-meadow with lesser butterfly orchid

Wood-meadows, a special habitat in Estonia, and wintergreens, also Estonia.

Have you ever seen a wolf?

Artur Wiatr writes with an account from Poland.

map butterfly, Dordogne

Map butterfly
(either of these two!)

Map butterfly, Danube Delta, summer brood
Andalusian wall lizard

Andalusian wall lizard: photos of a recently recognised species.

Bryony ladybird: photospot.

bryony ladybirds (Tim Strudwick)
whiskered tern (John Long)

Whiskered tern photos & movies from the Danube Delta here, or click on the picture.

Photospot: Dark Spreadwing

amethyst toadflax

Extremadura flowers features flowers we see here — mostly on our March holidays — that aren't in the usual field guides.

Linaria amethystea, amethyst toadflax

Danube helleborine: a photospot and account of a probable new species, Epipactis danubialis, seen on Honeyguide's Danube Delta holiday in June 2014.

Danube helleborine

Photospots Hoary mullein

hoary mullein

Rue-leaved saxifrage

An overlooked plant?

Photospot: Peloponnese lizards

Greek rock lizard (this photo, Morag McGrath) and Peloponnese wall lizard.

More from the same area: the Peloponnese in January

Greek rock lizard
Pyrenean brook newt

Pyrenean brook newt and Pyrenean rock lizard

Two special 'herptiles' from the French Pyrenees. More here.

Welsh poppies

What are the links between Welsh poppies in the French Pyrenees (right), Wales and our gardens? More here.

Welsh poppy

Thorpe St Andrew Marshes

Norfolk Wildlife Trust's nature reserve on the edge of Norwich.

Right: Norfolk hawker dragonfly, larval case

Norfolk hawker excuvia
Ophrys cretica

Crete orchids

Left: Ophrys cretica - Cretan bee orchid.
Right: Orchis boryi

... and Crete orchid gallery

Orchis boryi
black-veined white

Dordogne butterflies and Dordogne bugs
field cricket
Black-veined white (L), field cricket.

Autumn in Poland

Photos by Piotr Tałałaj.

pasque flower

The Cévennes and Causses
– a wild flower wonder

The text and photos about this 'flowery place' by Bob Gibbons, from his book Wildflower Wonders of the World. Read more here>

Pasque flowers (Bob Gibbons)

The Norfolk Cranes' Story

When cranes nested at Horsey in Norfolk in 1981, it was the first time in the UK for some 400 years.

This book, by their guardian John Buxton and Honeyguide's Chris Durdin, tells their story. More here.

Crane silhouettes (Nick Upton)

asparagus pea

Cretan flora through a macro lens

Reflections on a Honeyguide wildlife trip to Crete, 6-13 April 2011, by Honeyguider Phil Brew, here.


Asparagus pea (Phil Brew)

Winter in Poland

winter nature notes from Honeyguide’s Poland host and leader, Artur Wiatr. Waxwings, grey partridges and European bison here

Bison (Artur Wiatr)


Timber and truffles in Istria

Discover the link between Venice, oak woodland and truffles here

Wildlife where a WW or W-W features in their names. Can you add to our collection here?

Above: slow-worms (Stan Lovett)

Right: Outeniqua yellowwood, South Africa

Outeniqua yellowwood

Mystery lily, Extremadura

It's a mystery. Can anyone identify this bug (below) and this flower (left)? More here.

Amazing armoured beetle or weevil in Extremadura, March 2010

Crown daisies: for three years, a Mediterranean flower thrived in Norfolk.
How come? >



Crown daisy with 7-spot ladybird

crown daisy var. discolor

sombre bee orchid

Orchids are often centre stage on our Dordogne holiday, not least at our holiday base at Castang. Read more >



Sombre bee orchid Ophrys fusca

A cuckoo's song in spring is a minor third. But this musical interval crops up elsewhere in nature too. Can you shed light on this mystery? Read more >


brebis sheep

Brebis sheep. Our nature notes feature, for the first time, livestock. Rachel and Robin Hamilton look at how brebis sheep shape the landscape, wildlife and cuisine of the Cévennes. Read more >

Wallcreepers in Bulgaria and elsewhere.
The ups and downs of looking for this sometimes tricky-to-find bird.

Read more >


Right: wallcreeper in Trigrad gorge


Monarch on pride-of-Madeira

Monarch butterflies in Europe and South Africa Read more >

African monarch
Above: African monarch.
Left: Monarch on pride-of Madeira

Beavers created this wonderful habitat in the celebrated primeval forest at Białowieża, Poland. Read more >

gnawed by beavers

flooded forest


Left: Evidence of beavers!


Red and black bugs often feature on holidays, and here's a selection.
Read more >


Left: Froghopper Cercopis vulnerata

Painted ladies: 2009 was a bumper year for this gorgeous migrant butterfly.
Read more >


Right: painted lady on marguerite at home in Thunder Lane

painted lady

Lusitanian mirror orchid

Iberian orchids: trips in Spain and Portugal reminded me that the names of orchids change over time and it can get quite confusing.

We hope this web page will help.



Left: Lusitanian mirror orchid Ophrys vernixia

Glanville fritillaries
are named after Mrs Eleanor Glanville, a butterfly enthusiast of the late 17th/early 18th century "whose Will was contested on the grounds that nobody of sound mind would have such a hobby!"

Read more >

Glanville fritillary

Above: Glanville fritillary in the Dordogne

Index to Nature Notes

Scroll down to read a summary of what's on each page, or click on the red writing. Most recent pages are at the top.

Latvia owls.

La Mancha flora.

Cretan Bluet damselfly.

Wintergreens in Estonia.

Wood-meadows in Estonia.

Have you ever seen a wolf?

Map butterfly

Bryony ladybird: photospot

Andalusian wall lizard

Whiskered terns in the Danube Delta and Dark Spreadwing photospot.

Extremadura flowers

Danube helleborine

Peloponnese January

Photospot: Peloponnese lizards

Pyrenean brook newt and Pyrenean rock lizard

Welsh poppies

Crete orchids

Dordogne butterflies and Dordogne bugs

Autumn in Poland

Cévennes: Wildflower Wonder of the World

Cretan flora through a macro lens

Winter in Poland

Timber and truffles in Istria

WW - wildlife names with a WW

Wildlife mysteries

Dordogne orchids

Minor third

Brebis: sheep of the Cévennes


Monarch butterflies


Red and black bugs

Painted ladies

Iberian orchids

Glanville fritillary

Norfolk nature notes

Poker Wood (Suffolk)

Willow emerald damselflies: new trees and shrubs for egg-laying

Purple Viper's Bugloss

Photospot: hoary mullein

Photospot: rue-leaved saxifrage

Thorpe St Andrew Marshes

The Norfolk Cranes' Story

Nature notes for Radio Norfolk
28 February 2011

Crown daisies

Other special web pages:

In praise of Kiskunság, Hungary.


A Humphrey Lyttelton anecdote

Portugal News, November 2011

Bulgaria News, January 2010

Berdún in the Spanish Pyrenees

Flamingos in the Camargue

Your South Africa

Lesvos bird books

Backing singers (not wildlife!)

Crete Bird Reports

More birds from Kruger National Park

Mammals at Addo Elephant National Park

Ten reasons to visit Menorca with Honeyguide

Białowieża National Park in Poland

Honeyguide moments









































































































woodcock orchid

Woodcock orchid in the Dordogne. More Dordogne orchids here










































which dragonfly?

Check out this dragonfly on our beavers page

Facebook Honeyguide
... where there are many holiday photos to enjoy.

Atol protected

The air holidays shown are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 3253. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom. Click on the ATOL logo if you want to know more.

Helping you enjoy wildlife – Helping you protect wildlife