Sunday, 12 September 2010

Wildlife from wild Wales

The Safari is about to introduce you to some of the wildlife we came across in the wilds of Welsh Wales - much of it is common-place all over the country (UK) but were well worth getting the camera out for never-the-less.
On the windswept beach we found a couple of Octopus Jellyfish they are huge - perhaps we should have picked one up to give you a better impression of their massive size. Pic of a young lad holding one here.
A typical section of native woodland. In this shot there are only two different species of tree in the canopy. Years ago we took a similar pic of a canopy in Borneo, even though it was recent regrowth after a typhoon had passed through there were over 60 species of tree reaching the canopy - more than double the number of native trees in the UK (excluding shrubby montane Willows and an unknown number of site specific Whitebeams). You should be able to see four species - two of which are on this side of the valley, a Beech in the garden and Hazel, which will also be on the other side but under the canopy. The main components are Sessile Oak and Silver Birch, Ash was also present in small numbers.
Btween the garden and the woods was a deep dark gorge. At a squeeze in the rocks we noticed an interesting geological fault in the rock which may well explain the presence of the gorge. There are three different bands of rock tilted at different angles.
Welsh Wales had some beautiful wildflowers like this Orange Hawkweed aka Fox & Cubs.

We don't see Lords & Ladies very often in Safari-land. These are, rather obviously, the fruits the large leaves are long gone.
We do however, have quite a bit of Hare's Foot Clover in Safari-land, this one was growing at the edge of a beach car park.

Field Scabious is not a common sight in Safari-land as we lack the limestone they prefer, except in the northpart - there were hundreds of them along the side of the old railway.

Interesting this small Ash tree growing in the gorge at the bottom of the garden has roots growing out of the stem. The highest one is more than a foot off the ground (30cm). The gorge was dark and very very damp, almost primordial conditions.

Welsh fungi included a rather bright yellow thing breaking out from under the bark of some dead Gorse.

A rather chomped Fly Agaric - complete with hoverfly top left!

Unidentified fungi seen were this very yellow (much more yellow than the photo shows - gee it wasa dark old day) Chanterelle type thingy. Found growing on the edge of a Wood Ant nest in a broad leaf area of Coniferous plantation.
In a small area of semi-ancient broadleaved woodland we found this rather large specimen.

Welsh birds included a good number of Common Crossbills (175) at Coed Cwm Mynach (= Monk's Vally Wood/Forest).
A drive to Harlech took in the castle - an impressive piece of engineering sat high on its crag. The road we are driving would have been under water when it was built as the from the m,ain gate (centre) a set of steep steps led down to a quay from where the castle stone was delivered and on completion supplies were brought in - easier and safer than doing the overland journey! Originally the castle would have been painted gleaming white and flags would be those of the enemy - the cross of St George, rather than the current Welsh dragons.

More importantly along the road and soaring in front of it was a Red Kite (176) - the only one we saw all trip.
Welsh insects included plenty of Wood Ant nests in the Coed y Brenin (= King's Wood/Forest).

Along the New Precipice Walk wifey came across this Fox Moth caterpillar.
A walk up the strange looking hill (pic to follow tomorrow) gave us this Antler Moth, a moth tick for the Safari. It was burrowing under a dollop of sheep dropping when we spotted it.

Why do Dung Beetles have such lurid undersides - surely very little ever gets to see them.

Today we have been mostly dipping Curlew Sandpipers; but we have also be making Sloe Gin - if any one local wants some Sloes let us know as we have loads left over for collection or local delivery - easily enough for a couple of bottles!
Where to next? Have to get back on the trail of those Curlew Sands.
In the meantime let us know what's been photogenic in your outback.

Late edit - just seen this Unbelieveable - or is it, certain intolerable! Total ignoramous ar*ewipes - should be shot themselves - 'numpty' doesn't get anywhere near describing them/IT!!!


cliff said...

Nice jellyfish Dave, I recall seeing plenty of those washed up on the beach when last in Wales.
That Orange Hawkweed is a cracker, as is the moth.
Only one Red Kite whilst in Red Kite country, crikey, I take it you didn't get to Yr Arian then.

btw - I nipped into the Solaris Centre with the missus and grandaughter yesterday when we found ourselves in the vicinity. A fine display of photos there Dave, love the story about the sunset too.


Monika said...

That orange fungi on the bark of the gorse looks like witches' butter (Tremella mesenterica).

That antler moth is awesome!

Interesting about the dung beetle undersides - I had no idea.

Terrible about the kite. I agree with your sentence!

Zuzana said...

I had to read this post twice, because it was interesting. I read some of your other posts you do make some good points


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thanks for the compliments Cliff - glad you didn't look too closely at my wheatear. No we didn't get to Arian in the end.

Monika I have discovered Tremella mesenterica is found throught the UK certainly in the area we were staying see

Many thanks Zuzana - hope you keep dropping by and find something to interest you.