Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Seeing the Changes 338

With the fading of the snows in Loughor, male Winter moth (Operophtera brumata) came to the light.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 88

Little grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis) were dabchicking in the Loughor estuary.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter Visitors

In Loughor, had a Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) roaming the garden at 2am. You can see the marks made by its brush along with its tracks in the snow. Also lots of evidence in the snow of bird visitors and a male Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) frequented the feeder.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 87

Lots of activity in the Loughor berry trees with Redwing (Turdus iliacus) and Blackbird (Turdus merula) both scoffing.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Seeing the Changes 337

In spite of the prevailing cold and snow the Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) were foraging. The Goat willow (Salix caprea) catkins in Loughor were even peeping through.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 86

On the mudflats by the river Loughor, there were Redshank (Tringa totanus) and Dunlin (Calidris alpina). Lots of birds were feeding in the Loughor snow including Long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus), Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) and Redwing (Turdus iliacus).

Seeing the Changes 336

The feral Gower ponies could be seen in the mist and snow across the River Loughor.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 85

On the River Loughor at Penclacwydd, spotted a Curlew (Numenius arquata) wading on mud flats.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 84

The temporary thaw in Loughor resulted in bath time for the Starlings (Sternus vulgaris).

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Flutterby!

 I very much like butterflies but I have to wonder whether the decline of some species in Europe (blamed on the effects of changing agricultural practices leading to fewer flower-filled meadows) needs to be reversed by going back to older production techniques  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/09/grassland-butterflies-decline-europe ).  Presumably, the now threatened species were not so common before meadows were created and extended by human activities. It would seem better to uncouple the link between agriculture and the encouragement of these attractive species (very clearly a 'human' choice).

Friday, 10 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 83

At Penclacwydd, evidence that a bird of prey has dined out!

A Star Turn?

The story that materials extracted from the slime surrounding Scottish starfish may prove to be of medical importance seems just a bit premature (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11931039). The starfish produce their 'goo' to prevent their surfaces being colonised by other species that surround them in their sea environment. In deed, the agents are described as being more effective than Teflon. The people involved in these studies suggest that these chemicals may give rise to drugs benefiting asthma, hay fever and arthritis patients. One could even suggest that drugs preventing materials sticking to the inside of blood vessels may result. What about chemicals preventing the build up of plaque on teeth? These materials are, however, a long way from generation (if they result at all). I seem to remember that claims about the plethora of potential agents to be extracted from marine organisms were made more than 30 years ago. There have been a few successes but these are very few and far between.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 82

A Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) has taken to foraging amongst the molehills beside the Llanelli bypass.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 81

The cold spell must be playing havoc with birds. On the estate in Loughor, saw a Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) perched on a garden fence!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Birder's Bonus 80

After feeling left out ot it, we finally got a sprinking of snow on the Gower-Carmarthenshire border. This seemed to stimulate many birds. At Loughor Bridge, a Buzzard (Buteo buteo) was being mobbed by 2 Carrion crows. There and all along the estuary, there was lots of Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) activity. At Bynea, I noted the footmarks of a skating Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). At Penclacwydd, Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) fed in the fields and a Song thrush (Turdus philomelos) looked for snails to break on the cycle path.

A Song Unheard?

There is a somewhat odd finding that highly toxic Pumpkin toadlets from Brazil apparently cannot hear their own mating calls ( https://w...