Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Back in the swing of things.

Back to local patching after a couple weeks out of the country with a quick shower dodging visit to Llandegfedd Reservoir.

Now I was brought up on a diet of outdoor play, BBC cricket coverage and nest finding. The latter fashioned through pursuing the first blackbird or song thrush nest of the year in March or spending hours on the hillsides locating whinchats later in the Summer. These skills therefore stood me in good stead yesterday when to my surprise and after a good hour of watching from a distance I found my first clutch of Eurasian golfer (Ryder cupus celtic manori) eggs. Surprisingly, this late brood was fairly exposed on the margins of the reservoir and could easily have been predated by a badger, fox, lesser black backed gull or by an unscrupulous collector looking to profit from these unusually spherical and dimpled eggs. Realistically the finding of this clutch should not come as a surprise given the amount of suitable habitat that's been cropping up the length and breadth of Gwent over recent years. Any habitat with a combination of regularly mown grass, surrounded by some standing water and sandy hollows is capable of supporting the Eurasian golfer. Look out for the expected influx of this species and in particular the subspecies 'americana' in October.

Otherwise a party of five sanderling were pleasing along with an adult common tern and three goosander. Between the showers common blue and meadow brown butterflies were very active and the rice krispie liverwort Riccia cavernosa continues to show well.

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