Thursday, 24 April 2014

Seeing the Changes 856


Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) in flower in the cycle tract between Swansea and Blackpill.

Seeing the Changes 855










More flowers out including Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) in Loughor and Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) in Bynea. In Penclacwydd, Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and Common vetch (Vicia sativa) were in flowers. Got a nice shot there of a male Orange-tip butterfly on Cuckoo flower (the food plant).

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Seeing the Changes 854


In Bynea, Ramping fumitory (Fumaria capreolata) was in bloom.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Maltese Cross



Quite a battle seems to be developing between bird conservationists and people enthusing about the 'tradition' of shooting migrating birds as they 'refuel' in Malta (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/20/conservationists-marksmen-malta-bird-hunt). The range of species that are shot is really quite wide and many of these animals have shown marked declines in their populations. Somewhat strangely, some of the shooters blame agricultural practises in other parts of Europe for this. They may have a sort of point but blasting them out of the sky whilst they attempt to rest and feed up can't be a help!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Seeing the Changes 853















Only been away in Holland a week but big changes in Loughor natural history. Speckled woods (Parage aegeria tercis) in the garden. Lots of Small tortoiseshells (Aglais urticae), Green-veined whites (Artogeia napi), Brimstones (Gonepteryx rhamni)and Orange-tips (Anthocharis cardamines) in Bynea and Penclacwydd. A Barred carpet moth (Perizoma taeniata) came to the light in Loughor and a small bumblebee fed on Hawthorn in Penclacwydd. In terms of flowers, Hedgerow cranesbill (Geranium pyrenaicum), Shining cranesbill (Geranium lucidum), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), Red clover (Trifolium pratense), Large celendine (Chelidonium majus) and Common scurvy grass (Cochlearia officinalis) were in bloom between Bynea and Penclacwydd. 









Birder's Bonus 142


One of the high-lights of the trip to Rotterdam was seeing numbers of Great-crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) on the canals in small towns around the area like Brielle.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Mini-Me Dogs


News that the first cloned UK dog has been produced to Seoul at a cost of £60k (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/apr/09/britains-first-cloned-dog-born). The dachsund 'copy' of Minnie was won in a competition but a) too many existing dogs are being mistreated; b) copying the genes does not mean copying the pet and c) many cloned dogs have developmental problems and die early. I do think the cost is ridiculous but I can't help thinking that there are people out there, willing to splash the cash for the  dubious pleasure.