31st December


So that's it. 400 web pages, 1900 images, 100 megabytes of web space: All dedicated to the wildlife in my patch of  Co. Donegal. Probably 1500 hours of work, from photography through web building to research. A major part of my year, I suppose. 

Next year will continue in much the same vein, but with the addition of an increasing number of 'species profiles' that will build up into a true Donegal wildlife database.

Remembered moments:

  • 05:05 on 21st June, trying to catch the sunrise over our stone circle at Beltony, and surprising a Long-eared Owl perched less than 2 metres away.

  • August 3rd, photographing Rhyssa persuasoria with my chin resting on Angelica that was covered in common wasps.

  • August 24th, photographing not one but two species of Ichneumons as they laid their eggs into grubs in flower-heads.

  • Date unknown, driving home. A Sparrowhawk and Wood Pigeon crashed to the ground in front of the car. I couldn't drive on, the Sparrowhawk wouldn't take its foot off the Pigeon's neck and wasn't strong enough to pull the Pigeon away. The stand-off was broken when I got out of the car with the camera. The Hawk flew off and the Pigeon staggered to the side of the road.

  • Taking the first photographs with my new camera, and realising what lay ahead.

  • Receiving a Local Heritage Award from the Irish Heritage Council for the website.


Howard Fox, for fungal and lichen identifications, inspiration, encouragement, technical expertise and contacts.

Malcolm Storey, for identifications and all-round expertise. Malcolm is responsible for the outstanding Bioimages website: a resource I have found outstandingly useful this year.

Gill Smith, for editing, proofreading, encouragement and all matters botanical. When I write the book about Donegal Hedgerow, Gill will be my editor, proof-reader, spelling and grammar checker and she also knows a handy pedant.

David Mitchel for everything fungal.

The Irish Heritage Council for recognising the importance of my work and providing a grant to support it.


Other names that should be mentioned: Carl Farmer, Maria Cullen, Chris Raper, Mark Shaw, Leon Truscott, Matt Smith, Hubert Fuller, Bob Aldwell, Ian Rippey.

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