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

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Urban patches

Hoverfly - Scaeva pyrastri
Whether its a vacant building plot, a post industrial site, a canal, road verge or unkempt corner of a park patches of green space are the life blood of urban wildlife. Many of these patches are ephemeral with there very existence in accordance with the ebb and flow of urban regeneration. All towns have patches, look had enough and you will find. These images were taken in Cwmbran over the last couple of weeks.

Hoverfly - Chysotoxum bicinctum
Water fern  Azolla filiculoides
Least duckweed Lemna minuta

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Whiter shade of pale

Great White Egret
At a time when the summer sports scene is dominated by those wearing white its only fitting that the local wildlife should wade in with its own contribution. Thursday evening at Llandgefedd Reservoir the great white egret showed well along with at least two little egret. Marbled white where on the wing and a clay pipe was a nice find semi- emerged in the drying mud of the drawdown zone.

Remains of clay pipe

Little Egret
Marbled White

Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Punchbowl

View over Punchbowl lake
It seemed that every gate post on the way towards the Woodland Trust's Punchbowl reserve was erected specifically for the benefit of attaching signage. A tasteful 'all welcome' sign gave way to a number of Brecon Beacons plagues warning that motor vehicles were banned. Another wooden post symbolized with various icons struck through warning those interested in camping, fishing and motor bike riding that these were not permitted. The value of this sort of clutter was soon realised when I passed the time of day with half a dozen overnight campers and a scramble bike rider. There were no fisherman present, but a passer by referred to me as such solely on the basis that carried a sweep net, the fact that I clearly had no fishing rod didn't seem to matter. That said The Punchbowl is a very interesting site for a naturalist and well worth a visit.  

New Zealand Pygmyweed
A singing yellowhammer faded as the descent towards the lake was marked by the buffering influence of an avenue of impressive beech trees. The site itself sits at the foot of the Blorenge SSSI and is shrouded by a cloak of woodland. At the lake edge it was clear there is a problem with the invasive non-native New Zealand pygmyweed as the margins were completely swamped by the cushioned effect of this plant. Nonetheless there was much more on view to satisfy a quizzical botanist. Plants included pond water crowfoot, marsh pennywort, bottle sedge and rigid hornwort. It was no surprise to see a pair of Canada goose was a couple of young and at last I was able to get a few shots of a male emperor dragonfly - I've always found this species difficult to get close to. A striped longhorn beetle topped the visit off.

Marsh Pennywort

Emperor dragonfly

Longhorn beetle Stenurella melanura

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