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

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Photography redefined

Taking an image of a great northern diver that was mid reservoir, in a howling gale and with a camera that doesn't perform the best at full magnification was something of a challenge. I think its called a record shot!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Putative intermedius

Among the many lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus graellsii) feeding on the edge of a falling tide along the Riverfront, Newport last weekend, was an individual that clearly sported a darker mantle. Although care needs to be taken when separating lesser black-backed gull subspecies it does suggest this bird is of the subspecies f.intermedius a species known to breed in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Natural play- a generational thing.

I was heartened to discover a make shift rope and stick swing in the Lasgarn Wood last weekend. These used to be commonplace in the peri-urban woodlands of my youth but are now largely replaced by more formal play spaces, fenced off, British Standard equipment with soft fall rubber matting to help ensure all risk is removed from play. I remember some monster rope swings slung from a bough of a veteran beech that once mounted would thrill the most discerning thrill seeker.

The woodland was largely quite but unseasonally warm. A sunny glade was populated by a single red admiral butterfly that repeatedly alighted on a tree trunk. In the heart of the wood where trees were at their densest and sunlight was at a premium slugs and snails were widespread. Plaited door snails could be found cheek by jowl with the lemon slug Limax tenellus, an ancient woodland indicator species. Not many records from the vice county of Monmouthshire but then who bothers to record slugs! 

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