Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Seeing the Changes 860

At Bynea, noted Flea beetles on a Hemlock. Between Loughor and Penclacwydd, noted various flowers including Rough chervil (Chaerophyllum temulentum), Common cleavers (Galium aparine), Bluebell (Endymion non-scriptus), Marsh hawksbeard (Crepis paludosa), Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris), Silverweed (Potentilla anserina), Charlock (Sinapis arvensis), Black mustard (Brassica nigra), Wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana), Cultivated apple (Malus domestica), Changing forgetmenot (Myosotis discolor) and Black medick (Medicago lupina).

Monday, 28 April 2014

Pig's Ear

Disturbing news that at least 21 farmed boars have been released in a burglary in Maesteg ( Such animals can be dangerous but, if they manage to re-establish themselves in the wild, can cause quite a bit of damage to woodland areas by their rooting and wallowing activities. This has been seen in other areas of the UK where boars have gone feral.

Seeing the Changes 859

In Bynea, Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) could be seen without seeking.

Seeing the Changes 858

The first appearance this year of the Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus) in my Loughor garden.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

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

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 ( 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 ( 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.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Train Drain

The proposed HS2 development is currently thought to be scheduled to pass through a string of parks and protected areas with important populations of rare bats, butterflies and flowers ( The worry seems to be a current focus on cost and an apparently superficial evaluation of its impact on what remains of the natural world. If it goes ahead, of course it will disrupt and of course costs are a serious consideration but I am not wholly convinced that the planners really know how to weigh the importance of some of the areas likely to be effected or how to offer remedial work to offset the damage.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Seeing the Changes 651

Noted a predated Blackbird (Turdus merula) egg  and the Spanish bluebell (Endymion hispanicus) in flower in Loughor. There was a green moth caterpillar in Bynea.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Seeing the Changes 650

Shoots of Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) were much in evidence in Loughor. Lots of flower activity with Cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and Red campion (Silene dioica) in bloom or in bud in Penclacwydd. Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum) was in flower in Bynea. 

Where's the Beef?

  Industry 'experts' are claiming that the 'use-by dates' on red meat should be extended (