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

Saturday, 6 August 2011

How the mighty have fallen

Yes it could be a reference to Jan Molby's pending appearance in the Oily Rag, Pontypool - hope it gets a lick of paint and a new damp course beforehand! But no its the ornithologically challenged Llandegfedd Reservoir once again, and all I could muster was a male tufted duck and two teal. There was some saving grace in more Essex skippers an emperor dragonfly and the fleabane tortoise beetle (Cassida murraea). Desperate I turned to kicking about the shoreline and was taken by the frequency of dis- articulated crinoid fragments on show - now thats stumped you!

Stemmed fossilised crinoids and often abundant in rocks from the Silurian periods, hence their presence at Llandegfedd. Although they still occur today in the depths of our oceans they are not as plentiful as they were all those millions of year ago. In some parts of the world these fragmented stems are collected and made into necklaces and wrist bands- now there's idea maybe I could make a few flog 'um on Ebay to offset Welsh Water's wicked £8 birders access ransom.

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