Archive for the ‘Other Wildlife’ Category

catching up

I’ve been away for a long weekend in Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

I didn’t do much specific wildlife watching but I did keep my eye out. I saw 3 Spotted Flycatchers in different locations. One in Hanwell churchyard, one by Worcester Cathrdral next the avon and another in the gardens of Hanbury Hall.

A trip to Brampton Marshes near coventry through up many common birds. Including Redshank, Common Tern, Great Crested Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Ringed Plover, Lapwings given a Heron grief.

Nice to see a Willow Tit.

Saw a few Dragonflies, including Blue Tailed  and a  Southern Hawker.

On the Wednesday I popped into Rye Meads lots of young about with young Terns on the raft. A few oyung pochard around which was nice to see.

Large numbers of animals discovered in Sudan

After fears of the loss of large numbers animals in the Sudan civil war the Wildlife Conservation society has discovered this.

How Old?

Just how old are animals? We refer to “our Robin” or “our Blackbird” year after year when the truth is that most small birds and animals have incredibly short lives.

I know that mammals have long lives but this story surprised me.

Apparently scientists have just extracted a fragment of a weapon (a time delay bomb) from a bowhead whale that was manufactured between 1879 & 1885. The scientists reckon that the wound was inflicted in 1890. This would put the whale at 107 and it would have been quite a few years old at the time and could have been around at the time of the US Civil War.

The bowhead whale was killed by indigenous hunters off Alaska as part of their subsistence quota.

2 lifers in one day

Off early with Dave and Joy to Erith to twitch the Squacco Heron. Showing well, photos on main blog.

Then on to Rainham Marshes and rather pleased to catch the Marsh Warbler showing very well. Also frogs being very noisey and Dragons and Damsels about. First Hairy, Emperor, Darter (no idea what one) and Black Tailed Skimmer.

After an enjoyable lunch popped into Amwell to get a patch tick (Scaup) and first Little Ringed Plover of the year.

Hatfield Forest and Rye Meads

I spent a pleasant morning and early afternoon birding Hatfield Forest and Rye Meads.

Hatfield Forest. Threw up a nice surprise in the form of a Little Owl. Lots of warblers about including Common Whitethroat. Bullfinches quite evident as well. The lake was devoid of Great Crested Grebes but there was a Common Tern over. Cuckoos calling as well.

Lots of young birds at Rye Meads, including Little Grebes, coots and Pochards. Fly through Peregrine as well. Common Terns returning. Highlight was the return of a pair of Kingfishes giving super views.

On my travels

I’ve been up to Hay-On-wye and Bucks for the past week.

I wasn’t really birding but did manage a trip to Gigrin Farm where I added Raven to my year list.

On Tuesday I was well chuffed to find and photograph my first ever adult Tawney Owl and I also picked up a Redstart singing. To zip the year list up to 162. Hopefully a planned trip to Norfolk this weekend will give it a nudge.

I also saw White Legged Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle and an Azure Damselfly.

The White Legged was a lifer. Well only my second summer. The camera doesn’t half help with the iding!

Otter shot dead

You would think in the 21st century we had moved beyond this but apparently not.

An otter has been shot and killed near Driffield in East Yorkshire. The otter was found with a shot to its head at Frodingham Beck by a member of the public and reported to an Environment Agency bailiff.Post-mortem results reveal that the otter had been shot before.

Apparently he maximum penalty for intentionally killing or injuring an otter or other wild animal listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act is six months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine per animal killed or injured.

The Environment Agency has now passed the case onto Humberside Police.
Anyone with information should contact Sgt Christopher Hine at Bridlington Police Station, tel (01262) 458751.

Mobiles to blame for Bee die off?

I mentioned that bees were suffering mass die offs. Well the Independent is reporting on research that suggests this is due to <a href=”http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/wildlife/article2449968.ece”>mobile phone handsets</a>.

Apparently a study at Landau University suggests Bees refuse to return to hives when mobile phones are placed near them.

Flowers and fruit crops face disaster

Sometime ago I reported about the disappearance of honey bees in North America. The Daily Telegraph is now reporting that this is happening here.

In London, about 4,000 hives — two-thirds of the bee colonies in the capital — are estimated to have died this winter. Honeybees are responsible for 80% of pollination as they collect nectar for the hive. This could cause huge ecological problems with flowers, fruit and crops failing to grow.

Bumblebee Watch

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is inviting people to send in records of what Bumblebees are seen in there gardens.

Dave Goulson, of the trust, said people would get help identifying the different species.

He said: “People with digital cameras or a camera on their mobile phones can send us pictures of the bumblebees in their garden and we will send them back an identification.

“If people send us the date and a postcode of where the bumblebee was seen then we will be able put together a national map.”

The trust will announce a date for the garden watch later this year.

If anyone is after an id guide there is an article in the latest bird table (the journal of the BTO garden birdwatch scheme) or you could purchase the field guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland.