Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Austrian insects (II): butterflies and moths

Lycaenidae on Lotus corniculatus
Those are always the most difficult
to identify.

For a few months I was stalking diurnal butterflies in the amazing land of Tyrol (Austria). Although I was focused on butterflies, it was impossible not to see the huge diversity of other kind of insects and arthropods I found, which I tried to take as many pictures as possible. In the first part of this series, I talked about beetles.

On this second part of the Austrian insects series I will show you some of the butterflies and moths I spotted, many of them very impressive. I probably had seen them before, but never paid attention. Now, when I'm in the nature hiking or birdwatching I always keep an eye to the grass to see if I can spot some bug.

Pictures were taken in grasslands and meadows, so most of the species are related to this kind of habitat. My photography gear consists in a Canon Ixus 95 IS, so you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear (I love idioms in other languages). I'm very happy of the quality of some pictures, but some others are quite low. I hope you enjoy the gallery anyway. I couldn't take a picture to all of the species I spotted because that wasn't my job, and... many weren't quiet enough!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Big Year

Last Saturday I participated in the Annual Winter Bird Census as the last years, in Els Muntanyans, the natural beach of my town. There, I met several ornithologists experts, who talked me about the American competition "Big Year" and the true story film related to this competition: "The Big Year".

A Big Year is a competition among birders, with the aim to see as many birds as possible in a calendar year. Far to be a cinephile blog, I will only say that the film (2011) is a comedy about three birders who compete to beat the record of one of them. I think it's a good comedy and worth watching, and although (of course) a little bit exaggerated, many birders will feel themselves identified with these characters.

After the film, this competition started to be more famous worldwide, and now there are many Big Years around the world. Although I don't consider myself ready to compete at this level, I thought that it'd be interesting to write down all the species I can see in a year. Then I'll compete only with myself, and I'll learn to identify many species.

You can find my progress here: Bird List 2014