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Arctic Butterflies, July 2020
Written by Jos   

On remote mountains far beyond the Arctic Circle, there live a whole bunch of specialised butterflies, species that are, to me, almost mystical. About 16 species in all, the names alone are mouthwatering enough - Arctic Blue, Polar Fritillary, Dewy Ringlet, Norse Grayling and more.

 

Arctic Fritillary

 

 

However, with the world blighted by Covid-19 and its associated travel restrictions, and with myself suffering the consequences of tick-borne encephalitis, it was not perhaps the best time to ponder global travel. However, it was exactly what I felt I needed, so I decided on a 5350 km round-trip from Lithuania to the extreme north of Scandinavia to locate a number of these highly localised butterflies.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 August 2020 )
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Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, STAGE FOUR, June 2020.
Written by Jos   

Stage Four. Unwelcome End, June 2020.


Lithuania's National Quarantine for Coronavirus came to an end on the 17th June, the natural end to this phase of the Coronavirus story – still a handful of new cases each day, the country's total now sitting at 1800 cases and near 80 dead. But it all made no difference to me – most of June, I spent in hospital, failed rehab or otherwise ill. And the prospects for the near future are not much better.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 July 2020 )
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Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, STAGE THREE, May 2020.
Written by Jos   

Stage Three. The Easing, May 2020.

Grizzled Skipper

 

 

 

Peak season for some classic bird migration, the arrival of Red-backed Shrikes, Black Terns et al, plus usually a splendid month for butterflies, exotics such as Clouded Apollo and assorted skippers possible.

 

 

 

 

On the Coronavirus front, a feeling amongst the public that the country somehow escaped relatively unscathered and that it is all over. At the month's beginning, the death tally sat at 45, new infections occurring at 10-15 per day. Government has announced a range of measures to ease the shutdown - most shops and some services have reopened, but the national quarantine stays in place.

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 July 2020 )
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