Saturday, 30 May 2009
Thursday, 28 May 2009
We told you in the last post Broad Bodied Chasers were emerging all over the place!
The lower one was asking to be gently handled.
Mating Wall Browns.
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
This little fella is Rock Rose but most of the yellow in the picture is Birds Foot Trefoil.
While we were get close up and personal with the Cinnabar a spanking Pearl Bordered Fritillary landed almost on the adjacent flower demanding our attention and lenses!
Throughout the woods there were individual Early Purple Orchids and the odd nice patch of them too.
Time to visit one of the UK's rarest plants, the Lady's Slipper Orchid. There were only two of these left in the country. The other, in Yorkshire, I visited slightly illegally many years ago - still got the photos - this one may well have been planted here in Victorian times (the same Victorians who 'collected' = dug up, all the others). There are moves afoot to make them as common in Lancashire, Cumbria, and Yorkshire as they once were. Excellent news!
They were emerging from a nearby pond and were getting in to all sorts of trouble, this one nearly got trodden on...and was duly photographed from the driver's seat.
Where to next? OOOOHHHH fun, fun, fun next weekend...you'll have to wait and see what we get up to.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Annual Report 2002
R.S.Penrose. January 2003
Advice on rehabilitation techniques gathered by TIG, was forwarded to Julie and after nearly 4 months the turtle, now named ‘Shelly’, was successfully released back into the warmer waters of the Canary Islands on the 19th March 2002. Again, the kind assistance International and Gran Canaria state veterinarian Pascual Calabuig made the repatriation possible.
The event was documented by the TV programme “Pet Rescue”
'Shelly' being released back into the warmer waters of Gran Canaria by Julie Ions.
The photo courtesy of: Bournemouth News.
Originally reported and recorded as a Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta). The carcass had stranded at Knot End near Blackpool, Lancashire on the 30th December 2001.
The turtle was kindly stored at -20 C at the Fleetwood Museum until collection for full examination could be arranged within the DEFRA led ‘Collaborative UK Marine Mammal & Marine Turtle Strandings Project’.
Under post-mortem examination at the Zoological Society of London, the carcass was found to be a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas).
On further examination a fragment of plastic was found lodged in the oesophagus together with other items of plastic in the stomach including a large fragment (approx. 10cm x 5cm) of blue balloon.
The entrance to the intestinal tract was completely blocked by seaweed, feather shafts and fragments of plastic. Cause of death was given as oesophageal impaction and stomach impaction resulting from ingestion of plastic.
At the time of stranding this animal represented the fifth recording of this species since 1748.
Beach litter soon turns into marine litter and becomes a serious problem! If anyone is considering having a ballon 'race' please, please, please don't.
For any one wanting to know more about what is regulary seen on our beach please go to
Where to next? The sky is getting darker and squallier and lunchtime approaches..the sea is beckoning.
In the meantime let us know how many turtles there are in your outback.
PS did see one once - Shark Bay WA.
“Invasive alien species are plants, animals, pathogens and other organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and which may cause economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health. In particular, they impact adversely upon biodiversity, including decline or elimination of native species - through competition, predation, or transmission of pathogens - and the disruption of local ecosystems and ecosystem functions.
Invasive alien species, introduced and/or spread outside their natural habitats, have affected native biodiversity in almost every ecosystem type on earth and are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. Since the 17th century, invasive alien species have contributed to nearly 40% of all animal extinctions for which the cause is known (CBD, 2006).
The problem continues to grow at great socio-economic, health and ecological cost around the world. Invasive alien species exacerbate poverty and threaten development through their impact on agriculture, forestry, fisheries and natural systems, which are an important basis of peoples’ livelihoods in developing countries. This damage is aggravated by climate change, pollution, habitat loss and human-induced disturbance.”
Many people don't realise that Rabbits are an introduced species. Recently it has been discovered that they were brought by the Romans in the early part of the 1st Century AD. The earliest remains being found in Norfolk and dated with pottery to c2000 years old. Previously it was thought that they were brought in shortly after the Norman Conquest in the 11th C.
Are they a good or bad addition to the UK fauna? Farmers don't like them for obvious reasons but they do provide food for Red Kites, Buzzards, Stoats and other larger predators. Their grazing also keeps vegetation low allowing birds like the rare Stone Curlew to nest. But the can change the composition of wildflower areas by selectively grazing out the more palatable species.
Possibly the most destructive mammal that has been introduced is the domestic Cat...cute in the home but a killer outside and because they are full of Whiskers Supermeat. They rarely eat what the kill AND have caused the demise of the spectacular native Wild Cat by genetic extinction except in the wilder most remote parts of the Highlands of Scotland.
All manner of species have been introduced. The Rainbow Trout is a popular sport fish but has escaped from fisheries and is now common in many lakes and rivers.
My favourite introduced species is tha Mandarin Duck for several reason. It is from China hence the name but it also looks like a Mandarin Emperor, and face on it has the comedic look of Yosemite Sam with those huge gingery whiskers. Unfortunately it wasn't tempted by the loaf of bread I threw at it and stayed rather aloof from the ensuing melee of Mallards.
With HB one years seeding is certainly seven years weeding!
New Zealand Stonecrop is the bright green plant smothering this pond. Again it is almost impossible to eradicate. The current view is to carefully dig a new pond nearby and use the excavated spoil to bury the invader - drasic indeed!