Saturday, 31 March 2012

Seeing the Changes 462

In Loughor, Ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) was in bloom. In Bynea, Hairy woodrush (Luzula pilosa), Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), Common scurvy grass (Cochlearia officinalis) and Charlock (Sinapsis arvensis) were in flower. St Mark's fly (Bibio marci) preceded its day (25th April).

Friday, 30 March 2012

Seeing the Changes 461

Common comfrey (Symphytum officinale) and Ramsons (Allium ursinum) were in flower in Langland. In Loughor, female Tawny mining bees (Andrena fulvens) rested between digs.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Seeing the Changes 460

In Bynea, the sun had brought out the Cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis), the Spanish bluebell (Endymion hispanicus) and the Perennial centaury (Centaurum scilloides). Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) shoots were poking through. In Loughor, Alexanders (Smyrnium olustrum) and Lords and ladies (Arum maculatum) were coming into bloom. A Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) was in flight.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Seeing the Changes 459

Spring seemed more advanced in the Douro Region of Northern Portugal (even making allowance for the unseasonally hot weather prevailing in the UK). Masses of flowers were in bloom including Greater celendine (Chelidonium majus), Tree mallow (Lavatera arborea), Green alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens), Horse radish (Armoracia rusticana), Corn marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum), Viper's blugloss (Echium vulgare), Perennial sunflower (Helianthus x laetiflorus), Common fumatory (Fumaria officinalis), Spring gentium (Gentiana verna), Spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum), Kerry lily (Simethis planifolia), Purple mountain vetch (Oxytropis halleri) and a strange thistle with variegated leaves. Critters included the Wall butterfly (Lasiommata megera), a Mullein wave moth (Scopula marginepunctata), a bug and a scorpion-like crab spider. Wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) were also active in the sunshine.

Birder's Bonus 111

Along with occassional Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), which are not birds, on the ferry crossing between Portsmouth and Santander I spotted a Song thrush (Turdus philomelos) hitching a ride whilst Northern gannet (Morus bassanus) got down to serious work. In the Douro region of Northern Portugal, Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), Great tit (Parus major), Pied wagtail (Motacilla alba) and Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) were much in evidence. Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) plied their trade on the river. On the return, on the coast near Santander a Black wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) was vocal.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Seeing the Changes 458

In Swansea, the Red dead nettle (Lamium purpureum) was in flower.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Seeing the Changes 457

Common dog violet (Viola riviana) in bloom in Loughor.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Seeing the Changes 456

More sunshine in Loughor, more insects! A hoverfly (probably Eupeodes nitans) basked along with newly roused Bluebottle flies (Calliphora vomitaria). A plume moth (Emmelina monodactyla) fluttered and a bumble-bee (Bombus terrestris) filled its pollen baskets.

Seeing the Changes 1241

There are some impressively bright lichens on the wooden bridge in Bynea.