27th – 30th December

Three days based at Bewdley on the River Severn, close to the Wyre Forest where I spent two days looking (unsuccessfully) for the rare and elusive Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

17th – 19th December

 A weekend in Totnes (Devon) with our friends Heidi, Derek and Debbie.

14th December

A meeting to discuss the new website in Trowbridge.

10th – 12th December

A writing session at Brixham on Devon’s South Coast – working mostly on ideas for re-Wilding. I travelled down on the R1200 GSA.

3rd – 5th December

A writing session based near Haslemere in Surrey – tidying up a feature about motorcycling Salisbury Plain, re-viewing website content, and starting a piece of writing encapsulating how Warminster and its’ surrounds might benefit from a re-wilding project, entered into by local inhabitants and landowners voluntarily.

2nd December

At the 02 in Bristol to see the Sleaford Mods; riveting angry rants set against a catchy and danceable set of beats.

26th – 28th November

 A weekend at Globe Cottage in Weymouth, working on website content, and writing. Glad of the new tyres on the R1200 GS

25th November

A night in Bristol’s 02 venue, to catch quirky indie legends The Wedding Present. A good night.

20th – 21st November

 A ride along the A272, to stay overnight at Maresfield. Originally, I was supposed to be seeing guitarist Jan Akkerman perform with his band at the Trading Boundaries venue at Fletchling, but it was postponed again, this time due to a Covid outbreak amongst the band.

It was a pleasant ride up and back nonetheless, passing through Salisbury, Amesbury, Stockbridge, Winchester, Petersfield, Midhurst, Petworth, Billingshurst and Cowfold. On the return ride, it was clear and sunny.

19th November

A ride up to Bahnstormer at Alton, for desperately needed new tyres.

15th November

Attending the Cheese & Grain at Frome to see Fish (former singer/writer) for the prog rock band Marillion (now a long established solo artist).

15th November

Our new “Diving Dreams” and “The Butterfly Effect” Calendars arrive from Doveton press. They look good, I think.

14th – 15th November

A visit to London for a performance from guitarist Ralph Towner at Pizza Express Jazz Club as part of the London Jazz Festival. Very glad to have caught this show.

13th – 14th November

An overnight stay in Southampton.

12th – 13th November

An overnighter in Sittingbourne (Kent) ahead of Zac’s final Club100 round of the season at the Bayford Meadows circuit. A decent day “at the office” for Zac.

6th November

A day of writing, choosing to sit in Coffee One in Shaftesbury to get things done. In the evening, a visit to the Wiltshire Music Centre at Bradford-on-Avon to see Afro/dub/electronica group Fofoulah.

31st October

A day of “admin” and planning for the end of the year and into 2023.

29th – 30th October

An overnight stay at Rye, ahead of our son Zac’s Club100 Kart race at Lydd.

25th – 26th October

An overnighter on the R1200 GSA in London, to see Linda Oh’s band perform at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

24th October

Working on writings and website content.

13th – 18th October

A ride down to Plymouth (saying in a nice apartment by the Barbican) for few days of writing and planning. Although I was productive, more time would have been good!

11th October

Signed off the proofs for our new 2022 Diving Dreams and Butterfly Effect Calendars

10th October

A visit to Bournemouth and Sandbanks, before heading to adjoining Boscombe for the Manic Street Preachers – good gig, good sound.

9th October

The circuitous ride home from Weedon that took me via Lutterworth, Market Harborough, Stamford (stopped for a break), Peterborough, Oundle, Corby, Fermyn Woods (where I briefly stopped), Wellingborough, Olney, Milton Keynes, bypassed Buckingham, Bicester and Oxford, then Wantage (final stop of the day), Burbage, Pewsey, Upavon, Larkhill and Tilshead – a pleasant day in the saddle.

8th October

 A ride up to Weedon, near Northampton – Zac was originally supposed to be racing at the nearby Whilton Mill circuit, but it wasn’t to be. I couldn’t get out of the motel booking, so decided to ride up and make a day and a half’s riding out of it.

The ride up took me via Chippenham, Malmesbury, Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade, Burford, Chipping Norton, Bloxham, Banbury, Southam and Daventry.

6th October

 A night out in Frome’s Cheese & Grain venue to catch the “punk poet” Dr. John Cooper Clarke.

1st October

Working on our new 2022 Diving Dreams Calendar, and our new 2022 The Butterfly Effect Calendar.

Later, we went to Bath, to see the iconic Patti Smith perform.

24th – 25th September

At Ronnie Scott’s again, this time to catch Soweto Kinch.

22nd – 23rd September

An overnighter in London to catch Rick Simpsons jazz interpretations of Radiohead’s “Kid A” album, and Jamie Murray’s Beat Replacement at Ronnie Scotts.

19th September

A visit to Studland for a swim in the sea, after which we headed to Swanage and then Wareham in search of an early tea.

18th September

A visit to South Wales, to the Llandow Kart Circuit for Zac’s Club 100 series. A chance for a few action shots.

17th September

Checking the next working proof of our 2022 Diving Dreams Calendar

13th September

Working on writing the captions for our “Diving Dreams” and “The Butterfly Effect” 2022 Calendars

12th September

A visit to Bournemouth and Sandbanks, to scout out a beach hut to hire for the winter, and to have a swim in the sea.

10th – 11th September

 An overnight stay in Sittingbourne in Kent with Zac, ahead of his Club 100 Kart event at the nearby Bayford Meadows circuit. A decent day’s racing, and a chance for a few photos.

9th September

A visit to the Cheese & Grain in Frome to see Beth Orton perform, at times with her husband Sam Amidon. An enjoyable and quirky gig.

5th – 6th September

An overnight London visit to see the excellent Shez Raja perform with (excellent) his band at Ronnie Scott’s. The following morning we visited Ocean Leisure on the Embankment to buy some “open/cold water swimming” items.

In the afternoon, starting to write the captions for our new Calenders (Diving Dreams 2022 and The Butterfly Effect 2022).

4th September

A last minute visit to the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival to see the Chris Corcoran Band and Get The Blessing at the Lakota Gardens venue.

30th August

From Brighton, we travelled up to the Knepp Wildlands, meeting Fuzz and Tonya. Sadly, the weather remained overcast and cool for our visit, but we saw some of the White Stork, as well as a (possible) few Brown Hairstreak.

27th – 30th August

A stay in a lively Brighton with Amanda, to have a bit of time together and make a few plans. Bank Holiday/Amanda/Brighton/Knepp

22nd August

A solo visit on the R1200GS to the Alners Gorse butterfly reserve in Dorset in search of the Brown Hairstreak (Fuzz wasn’t able to come). I was pleased to get a positive ID on as many as 4 specimens atop an “assembly tree”. Later, I found a male specimen nectaring on bramble blossom. I managed a few shots before it flew off and up into the trees.

20th August

Decided on creating an inaugural UK butterflies calendar (which I called “The Butterfly Effect”) featuring images taken during 2020 and 2021. In addition, another “Diving Dreams” calendar as well.

Met with Darren at Impact in Frome to hand over the images and requests.

16th – 20th August

Working on the next “Diving Dreams” Calendar, and considering a 2022 UK Butterflies Calendar after the pleasing photographic captures of this summer and last summer.

11th – 15th August

A few days away “up North” on the R1200GS.

On the 11th, I travelled up to Birmingham (near Walsall), detouring through the Cotswolds, taking in Stroud, Tewkesbury, Pershore, then Redditch before jumping on the motorway to reach my accommodation at Walsall, just off the M6.

On the Thursday, it was a convoluted ride up to Cumbria staying at the village of Dent to meet Fuzz for our quest to see and photograph the Scotch Argus at Smardale Gill National Nature Reserve. My journey took me through Walsall, then Cannock Chase, Rugely, Uttoxeter, Cheadle, Buxton, Sparrowpit, Winnats Pass, Castleton, the moorland landscape near Wigtwizzle, then Huddersfield, Halifax, Keighley and Skipton where I stopped for a break. Then, the push towards Dent (where I reached 30,000 miles exactly on the machine) via Settle. After checking into the George and Dragon pub, and with the weather warm and favourable, I rode to the Smardale Gill reserve to meet Fuzz via Sedbergh and Kirkby Stephen, to check out the location of the site. We saw our first Scotch Argus specimens.

On both the Friday and Saturday, we visited the reserve, and spent two full days observing and photographing this species, capturing some pleasing images, despite the windy Saturday. On the Saturday evening, we had dinner at the iconic Tan Hill Inn (the UK’s highest pub), before a scenic ride across the moors, taking in Reeth, Muker and Garsdale.

On the Sunday, it was time for the long ride home. I decided to make a day of it, stopping at Settle to hatch a plan over a pot of tea. My ride for the day (in mixed conditions) took me through Colne, Trawden, Hebden Bridge, Ripponden, Denshaw, Delph, Holmfirth, Glossop, Buxton, Leek, Stoke-on-Trent, then across to the west skirting south of Shrewsbury, then Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Hereford, Monmouth, the Wye Valley, across the Severn on the M48, then Bath and home. Felt in the zone during the ride.

A great weekend all round.

7th – 8th August

A visit to London with Amanda, visiting the Borough Market area of London’s Southbank, and taking in an afternoon performance of Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” with live band and acrobats.

1st August

A ride down to Devon, to meet Fuzz for a trip to the Bystock Ponds (and neighbouring heath) Nature Reserve near Exmouth.

The aim was for me to catch the Silver Studded Blue (very late in the flight season), and Grayling.

Though the weather was “iffy”, we managed both species, as well as Small Copper, White Admiral and Silver Washed Fritillary. I managed a few photographs of a very faded female Silver Studded Blue, a more pristine male being too skittish to approach. Perhaps the highlight was disturbing a Nightjar from its’ daily slumber.

Afterwards, we rode into Exmouth for tea and snacks before returning to Fuzz’s place near Honiton, and then home up the “303”.

30th – 31st July

A trip to the Suffolk Ellough Park kart circuit near Lowestoft, for Zac’s Club 100 Series – we stayed a Lowestoft the evening before the race. I fired off a few pictures of the racing action. A mixed day’s results.

30th July

A morning ride to Bahnstormer near Alton for an MOT and service on the R1200GS. Stopped at Kudos Coffee in Stockbridge on the way back for lunch and “admin” on the laptop.

23rd July

A visit with Fuzz on the motorcycles to Bentley Wood in search of the Purple Emperor, with most time spent around Donkey Copse area.

Our mission was successful with several Emperors seen, though none on the ground (it was possibly we were nearing the end of the “grounding” part of the flight season), and photography was therefore difficult.

Nonetheless, a good (but tiring) day, with the best “other” sighting being two valesina specimens of the Silver Washed Fritillary (a new sighting for both of us), though frustratingly they both eluded photography.

15th – 19th July

A nice return to attending events, at the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone. Though I took the camera, I ended up taking no pictures whatsoever – just enjoyed the event.

11th July

A visit to Bentley Wood with Amanda, hoping for a Purple Emperor, but it was too overcast and cool. Others had the same idea, including a Butterfly Conservation (Wiltshire) group that we met.

10th July

A visit to the Rye House Karting Circuit for Zac’s Club100 Series – a decent day and a chance for a few images.

9th July

A return (day) visit to Knepp, saw perhaps 8-10 Purple Emperor, but all were high up in the trees. I captured a few photos.

A good, but tiring day – hot, humid and wet underfoot.

2nd – 4th July

A visit to the astonishing Knepp Estate “Wildlands” in Sussex with Fuzz, in search of the Purple Emperor, and other wildlife.

We rode to Knepp along the A272, stopping at Midhurst on the way up, and Petersfield on the return journey.

The weather wasn’t great by any stretch, but we sighted the very first Purple Emperor specimen reported from Knepp this season, so were very happy with that. Other sightings included Purple Hairstreak, probable White Letter Hairstreak, White Admiral, Dark Green Fritillary, Comma, Red Admiral and of course, the White Storks.

We also met some very interesting people such as the Knepp volunteers, and other naturalists paying a visit, plus author and Purple Emperor obsessive Matthew Oates, and also Neil Hulme.

26th June

A visit to Bentley Wood and the Farley Mount Country Park (Pitt Down and West Wood areas) in search of early Purple Emperor emergences, from which we came back empty handed. Our planned visit to the Knepp Wildland next weekend may be more productive, we hoped. A decent day nonetheless.

June 22nd – 23rd

A visit to London by train for a show at Ronnie Scott’s to see Elina Duni & Rob Luft perform their “Lost Ships” – a very interesting gig, very original and skilled. The following day, we visited the Southbank Centre to see Matthew Barney’s “Redoubt” film and related art pieces. Also shared with this exhibition was Igshaan Adams “Kicking Dust”, which we also enjoyed.

June 18th – 19th

A visit to Buckmore Park (near Chatham in Kent) for the next round of Zac’s Club100 Kart series. It’s difficult to concentrate on photography when your son’s racing – basically, I fired off a few images

16th – 17th June

Another visit to Ronnie Scott’s in London on the R1200GS to catch Binker Golding with his band. Enjoyed the show.

14th June

 An afternoon visit to Collard Hill for another attempt at finding the Large Blues with Fuzz.

Having asked a couple of fellow visitors (who’d seen very little – one possible Large Blue sighting perhaps?), we had time to re-locate and visit the Green Down reserve, a few miles away. This proved to be a good decision, and we enjoyed seeing a few Large Blues including females laying eggs. It was a good visit, with good photos captured.

12th – 13th June

 After returning back home from Lydd, I had to get on the R1200 GS and ride all the way to Stalham in the Norfolk Broads to meet Fuzz.

Our challenge for the following day was to see and photograph the British sub-species of the Swallowtail.

We decided to visit Hickling Broad, run by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, which proved to be a good decision. During our day, we sighted several Swallowtail specimens, with the opportunity for some photography, even though they often stayed at a frustrating distance from the lens.

There were plenty other wildlife sightings possible at this reserve including numerous species of  dragonflies and birds.

Afterwards, it was the long ride home back to Warminster in Wiltshire with the sun in my eyes all the way.

11th – 12th June

An overnight stay in Rye ahead of Zac’s Club100 Kart race the following day. A good evening followed by a decent raceday.

No photographs, as the camera was packed ready for my next trip with Fuzz, up to the Norfolk Broads.

6th June

A visit to Glastonbury for breakfast, followed by a visit to the Collard Hill nature reserve just outside nearby Street with Fuzz for a Large Blue search.

The weather was overcast but still and warm. We sighted some “blues” but they were Coon Blues rather than Large Blues. The late spring had perhaps delayed their emergence. We would have to return.

I did capture a few Common Blue images as a consolation.

5th June

A walk up to nearby Battlesbury Hill, with the idea of photographing Marsh Fritillary whilst they’re still around. Judging by what I found, the peak of the season had passed, with a few specimens looking worn, whilst some individuals were still fairly pristine. I managed to capture good images of a Marsh Fritillary mating, so very happy with that.

Other butterfly sightings included Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Dingy Skipper, Grizzlked Skipper and Wall Brown. The “Blues” in particular seemed to be having a good season.

4th June

Another visit to Lydford Old Railway Butterfly Conservation Reserve, to try for more images of the Heath Fritillary and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, as I’d not captured many that I was pleased with a few days previous.

I set off early, at 7.30am and rode straight to Lydford, getting in before any of the National Trust staff had arrived. It proved to be a good idea, as my best Heath Fritillary images were captured just after I arrived. The Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries proved very difficult to photograph. I stopped in at Fuzz’s place on the return home, at Payhembury near Honiton.

2nd – 3rd June

A welcome return to live music following all the lockdown stuff, with a visit to Ronnie Scott’s in London, to see (and hear) Tim Garland lead an excellent band playing the music of (and music influenced by) the recently passed jazz great Chick Corea. Good to do this again, I thought.

Stopped off at Stockbridge on the way back to do some “admin work” on the laptop.

30th – 31st May

A visit to Devon, meeting up with Fuzz to visit the Butterfly Conservation reserve at Lydford (Old Railway) – we saw and attempted to photograph the Heath Fritillary and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary. A good visit, but frustrating for photography.

Later, we would ride to Southampton for an overnight stay prior to travelling across to the Isle of Wight the following morning from Lymington.

The Isle of Wight visit was a great success; we visited the Compton Bay area and saw an abundance of Glanville Fritillary, with great photographic opportunities. A great day and a great weekend.

28th May

Fuzz paid a visit from Devon to visit Battlesbury Hill – we saw and photographed a number of butterfly species including Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Small Blue, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper.

22nd – 23rd May

Summer still hasn’t arrived. A weekend of sorting this and that, including the beginnings of a feature about motorcycling on Salisbury Plain.

14th – 15th May

A visit to Northamptonshire, to the Whilton Mill Kart Circuit for Zac’s second Club 100 race of the season. An “OK day” in wet conditions. Fired off a few images, but was too engrossed in watching to concentrate on any photography.

9th May

A quick check for Marsh Fritillary on Battlesbury Hill, but still no early sightings. The Duke of Burgundy were out again, in the usual little sheltered sun spot.

7th May

Fuzz paid us a visit this time; with the aim of Duke of Burgundy and Marsh Fritillaries encounters at Battlesbury Hill.

We had great Duke encounters including the chance to witness and photograph a mating (some really nice images captured). Despite the success of the Dukes, no Marsh Fritillary emergences as yet.

30th April – 3rd May

A “post-lockdown” visit to the Kent coast with Amanda, basing ourselves at Ramsgate. Whilst there, we took a trip to nearby Broadstairs, Margate, Herne Bay and Whitstable. I took a camera, but barely used it.

25th April

Pt.2 of our search for Wood Whites proved successful at Branscombe – within ten minutes of searching we found our first specimen, and then later on one of the coast path sections, we enjoyed a prolonged encounter which included a “near-mating” – I captured some nice images.

Other sightings included more Peregrine falcons, plus Holly Blues, Dingy Skippers, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Dingy Skipper.

24th April

A (frustrating) visit to the Clay Pigeon Kart Circuit for Zac’s start to the Club100 season – he ended up being taken out on the very last lap of the first race much to his annoyance and anger. Nonetheless, a chance for a few photos.

23rd April

Another ride to Honiton to pick up Fuzz, prior to a visit to Axmouth and the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliff NNR in search of the Wood White (we’d had news of an early emergence).

18th April

A ride down to Fuzzy’s at Payhembury near Honiton, from where we decided to try Aish Tor for the first Pearl Bordered Fritillaries. Our choice was the right one, and we watched several freshly emerged specimens on the warm microclimates of the bracken slope. I managed to capture some images

15th April – 31st May

Assisting scientist Dr.Sue Clarke (contracted to Butterfly Conservation Wiltshire) with survey work of the (local to me) Marsh Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy Fritillary populations.

12th April

The release from lockdown – feeling the world expand a bit.

9th April

Digging up and potting some nettles, ready for the delivery of Spring “livestock” of Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma larvae for rearing. After the Large Tortoiseshell sightings at Portland, I also ordered some of those to release and to help what seems to be a recolonisation of the southern counties.

Other livestock expected are Garden Tiger and Puss Moth.

8th April

An image of a Duke of Burgundy Fritillary taken by Jeremy at Battlesbury Hill is used on the inside cover of Wiltshire Butterfly Conservation’s 2020 Report.

4th April

 Shooting some biking images on Salisbury Plain with Amanda, followed by some solo explorations of the Plain, taking in the north side from Upton Scudamore to the Westbury White Horse, then to Bratton, Imber, Market Lavington, Easterton (on Easter Sunday), Urchfont and up Redburn Hill.

Whether it was permitted or not, I wasn’t sure, but I decided to cross the plain to Larkhill, and ride all the way to Tidworth, taking a slightly different route back via “the Bustard” and West Down before returning home via Imber.

A great day’s riding, managing to remain puncture free. Let’s hope that the pick-up that followed me across the plain from Redburn Hill hasn’t reported my registration number to the authorities!

3rd April

A trip to the Bayford Meadows kart circuit at Sittingbourne in Kent with our son Zac who was competing in a Club100 team event and season warm-up. A chance to shoot a few images of the action.

2nd April

 Another ride to Portland in search of the Large Tortoiseshell. This time the weather was more favourable and we got an excellent sighting at Church Ope Cove, as well as other species such as Comma, Peacock, Large White, Wall Lizard and Blackcap. A very good day.

31st March

A ride to Portland to meet with my old mate (and fellow enthusiast of the natural world) Fuzzy. The aim of the day was to find the Large Tortoiseshell, a species that appears to be re-establishing itself in the UK. Portland has had sightings over recent years, especially centred around the Church Ope Cove area.

After spending several hours, we got a sighting. We both pleased, but wanted more. We vowed to come back a couple of days later.

20th – 21st March

Working sporadically on content for this website, and looking forward to the partial ending of some lockdown restrictions next month (all being well

12th – 13th March

A visit to Globe Cottage in Weymouth on the R1200 GS to check on work that had been carried out, and also a chance to catch up on some website content. It was windy and gusty in both directions, including hail as I headed through Longbridge Deverill just outside Warminster.

1st March – 31st October

When possible, I’ll be submitting (Wiltshire) butterfly sightings to the Wiltshire branch of Buttefly Conservation

6th – 28th February

Various “lockdown potterings” around home and locally on the R1200 GS. Nothing standout to report, but enjoying the first sensations of Spring – it’s started.

4th – 6th February

 Various jobs, and also work on a potential feature for one of the Motorcycling magazines on Salisbury Plain, and a “mission” of re-wilding and regeneration in the local area to Warminster.

2nd February

Ordered some Painted Lady larvae to rear in the spring, as part of some local butterfly and moth releases that I plan to do.

29th – 31st January

Not much going on due to the ongoing lockdown, but a couple of walks on the edge of Salisbury Plain, and ongoing bits of organising. Had my first proper look at my new Nikon R1C1 Close Up photography flash set up.

15th – 17th January

Various bits of organising, sorting, tidying, reading, writing and planning at home.

13th January

Assembling a couple of extra “pyjama cages” supplied by Worldwide Butterflies. As foreign travel is unlikely due to the ongoing Covid situation, I’m planning on rearing some butterflies and moths – Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Privet Hawkmoth, Deaths Head Hawkmoth, Broad Bordered Bee Hawkmoth, Small Elephant Hawkmoth and Eyed Hawkmoth. I might try a few other species if possible, such as Comma, Painted Lady and Buff Tip.

8th – 10th January

A cold weekends ride to Weymouth, to sort out a few things at Globe Cottage.

2nd January

A ride out on the Imber Ranges, with Amanda following in the car. I felt rather phoney, somewhat like a model, as I carried out various “ride-pasts” as she took photos. The reason for all this was my idea of creating a feature for a motorcycle magazine about this (normally restricted) area

1st – 3rd January

Generally trying to plan and think about 2021, and build in some positivity to whatever aspects of life I could think of.