The Safari got a Tweet this morning from Arch year-listing rival Monika to let us know we'd been mentioned in a podcast she'd been invited to join about her recent analysis of the apparent recent decline in the number of Orcas visiting her part of the world in spring and summer.
Read her post here and listen to her interpretation of how she came up with the data and what it might mean here. There are certainly some serious problems for the Southern Resident Orcas, a combination of sucker punches perhaps starting with the capture of many of their number for 'Seaworld' type circuses which has reduced their gene-pool, combine that with over-fishing of the salmon they need, habitat damage and physical injury/death from military sonar and other activities, habitat changes in the river catchment and the flow obstructions in the salmon rivers themselves along with toxic pollutants, perhaps even climate change is shifting the populations of salmon as is happening with other fish species around the world, this unique sub-species (perhaps even a full species Can you enlighten us on the current genetics Monika?) these magnificent animals are suffering at our hands and only time and further research with tease out the most important of those problems - lets hope the animals have that time and they do not become functionally extinct before mitigation and recovery measures can be put in to place and become effective. We say functionally extinct because Orcas in the wild can live over 100 years (unlike Seaworld where about 15 years is all they can expect - please please please never ever go to a 'dolphin' show you are helping promote the capture of wild dolphins) but of course they have to produce viable young which reach maturity, if memory serves from Monika's blog recent seasons haven't seen too many calves born and as with any young animals not all births can be expected to survive until the infant becomes a mature breeding adult.
If you think a small population of Orcas on another continent or the other side of the same continent doesn't matter to you it should as it is a small snap-shot, a microcosm, of what is happening in the seas all around the world and we all, every single one of the 7 billion of us, depend on what happens in the world's oceans. So if you can make a difference please do make a comment on the NOAA consultation.
Anyway her mentioned us was noting to do with Orcas but about our annual bird year-list challenge. Hopefully between us we will encourage some of you other bloggers on different continents to do something similar, have a bit of fun, explore your local area and share your results with each other...and the rest of us too. Check out her Rufous Hummingbird pics at her feeder - brilliant, wish we had something similar here!
Now for some holiday snaps
We broke the moth trap, or at least the bulb holder fell off and we didn't have a suitable screw-driver to repair it so mothing was curtailed, these are all we found.
There were some good wildflowers about but there was a noticeable lack of bumble bees. The wall of the cottage was patrolled by an unknown species of mining bee looking for suitable holes of which there weren't any.
|Temporary Base Camp, complete with chickens|
|Having a sunbathe and dust bath|
|Frank wasn't too bothered by them|
|East Onny river flowing through the grounds|
|Just a dark Common Marbled Carpet, or something else?|
|Field of Bugle|
|Badger diggings near the Bugle that led us to placing the stealth-cam in this area|
|Red Admiral at distance in harsh light|
|Small Copper - as above|
|Tree Bees - what are they doing, excavating a cavity or has a Great Spotted Woodpecker broken in?|
|Cockchafer - came to the moth light|
Where to next? got a bit of a safari planned for tomorrow, weather permitting.
In the meantime let us know who's babbling in the brook in your outback.