Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Not the best of news

The Safari hasn't connected with anymore dolphins but we have had several reports of dead Harbour Porpoises being washed up. Theories abound as to the cause; but from the few pictures we've seen there doesn't seem to any evidence of violence from the Bottle Nosed Dolphins nor net marks from being caught in a trawler's nets. According to one of our favourite websites there's only one trawler working the area at the moment and any victims from it would be unlikely to drift our way - it's all a mystery and just shows how little we actually know about these animals, their movements and interactions with other species. Getting hold of a fresh carcass for a post-mortem might throw some illuminating light on the situation.
A wander on the beach with Wifey and Frank the other evening had us looking for shells. Not many about but we did come across this Striped Venus. The 'rings' aren't quite like tree rings but a small animal like this can live for a dozen or so years.
We had the Young Uns help us de-Stickleback the work's pond again and we got more out than ever before. Not only that a member of the public joined us with his children and saw Another Goldfish - - arrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhhhh. That could be the reason there wasn't much other life in the pond, a few front swimming waterboatmen and a diving beetle sp, possible the same individual as this one. As well as removing fish they also did a bit of gardening. We've not seen many ladybirds this year so when JS found three together it was something of a bonus especially as the smallest of them was an 11-Spot Ladybird. OK so they're common and widespread but this was the first record for Blackpool.
You can see why there were three ladybirds on that particular plant, there's lots of Blackfly aphids top left of  the picture.
They also came across a tiny plant while weeding. Our Deptford Pink has reappeared. There are only a handful of sites where this plant occurs north of the Severn - Humber line. As such it's a Schedule 8 species and a UK BAP priority species - nice to have it and we've no idea where it came from; probably has always been in the seed bank!
 Other news is a bit more disturbing...we were at the docs again today about our hands and he took one look, took a sharp intake of breath and got his red pen out - never a good sign! operation coming up before Christmas. Will it help, yes but not a lot and possibly not for long, the last op on this hand was only two years ago.
Still it's better than losing the function in the finger and affecting the rest of what remains of my hand. Another op is likely to be necessary on my other hand once this one has recovered, might even require the removal of another digit - ohhh errr...might not be long before we can no longer pick out nose - this is getting seriously serious!!!
Where to next? A quick look at Patch 2 first thing and a short Whale and Dolphin Watch at lunchtime, maybe elsewhere if we get time.
In the meantime let us know what's dangerously ephemeral in your outback.

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