Thursday, 24 May 2018

Butter-fingers


The UK only has around 50 species of butterflies (including the Dark green fritillary above) and, after a number of hard years, some are in rapid/terminal decline. There have been the odd success in re-introduction (notably the Large blue from Swedish specimens) but they require careful habitat management along with potential breeding specimens. The latest attempt concerns the Chequered skipper that people are attempting to re-introduce from Belgium into Rockingham forest in Northamptonshire (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/17/back-from-the-brink-chequered-skipper-butterfly-takes-to-english-skies-again). I appreciate that the workers wanted to take specimens from roughly similar habitats as the woodland rides they were going to but they could have used Scottish bugs.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Seeing the Changes 1301


Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) blooms in Loughor.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Anthropogenics?


In biomass terms humans are pretty puny, accounting for only 0.01% of living things but our impact has been extraordinary (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study). Reportedly, 36% of current mammals are humans, 60% are domesticated beasts such as cows, sheep and goats and only 4% (and reducing) are wild species. The situation, in the case of birds, is only slightly less extreme with 70% being poultry (mainly chickens) and 30% being wild avian species. The extinction-impact of humans is evident in the fact that we have already eliminated more than 80% of all wild animals and 50% of plants. We are clearly on a par with the meteor strike that accounted for the dinosaurs.   

Monday, 21 May 2018

Seeing the Changes 1300


The Dog rose (Rosa canina) is in bloom in Loughor.

Seeing the Changes 1299


Visited, in Loughor, by a Small phoenix (Ecliptoptera silaceata) moth.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Seeing the Changes 1298




























Morning at Broughton on the Gower. Lots of flowers including a Forgetmenot (Myosotis stricta); a Vetch (Vicia dumetorum); Hairy rockcress (Arabis hirsuta); Black medick (Medicago lupulina); White clover (Trifolium repens); Goatsbeard (Tragapogon pratensis); Stone bramble (Rubus saxatilis); Sweet violet (Viola odorata); Wild pansy (Viola tricolor); Kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria); Burnet rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia); Long-stalked cranesbill (Geranium columbinum); Field gentian (Gentianella campestris); Lesser hawksbit (Leontodon taraxacoides); Bloody cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum); Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale); Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis); Cowslip (Primula veris); Biting stonecrop (Sedum acre) and Sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias). Critters included Great green bush-cricket nymphs (Tettigonia veridissima); Diptera (unidentified) mating or cannibalising?; St Marks fly (Bibio marci); Lackey moth (Malacosoma neustria) larvae on Hawthorn; Cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae) as well as male and female Small blue butterflies (Cupido minimus).

Birder's Bonus 183




Spent the morning at Broughton dunes on the Gower. Had a Swallow (Hirundo rustica) fly by. Lots of Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis) and Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) action in the dunes.

Butter-fingers

The UK only has around 50 species of butterflies (including the Dark green fritillary above) and, after a number of hard years, some a...