Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Hairy plughole

At last...after 2 weeks of waiting for a new router box to arrive from China, turns out the problem was with our fecking internet provider in the UK...makes you proud to be British, how we as a country seem to be spiralling further and further down the hairy plughole of utter incompetence and f**k-wittery. Anyway...

It's good to be back in Blue Chaffinch world and I finally have something to do of an evening other than watch shite TV and smoke. It means I can actually finish off writing the previous blogs and get on with creating some new ones...apparently quite a few people have been having a look at these pages..thankyou, gracias, thanks dudes, cheers y'big galahs etc etc.

The weather in the UK has been bloody terrible, and it seems that anyone without house insurance in the Midlands and Yorkshire has been flooded. Therefore, there's been little in the way of wildlife watching going on here lately. I'm also leaving my current job after 4 years to enter the murky world of ecological consultancy....

About 10 days ago I had the very great pleasure of accompanying a group of expert bryologists for a snoop around the grounds of my place of work, and I have to say it was the highlight of my month...totally fascinating. To my disappointment we didn't find any mosses new to science but at least there was a good range of common and a few scarcer species...I haven't got a clue what they were called but they looked flippin cool!

Apparently the best trees for bryophytes are field maple and ash as the bark has a higher pH than most other tree species. Suitably inspired by this delve into the world of micro-plants, I am determined to be able to name at least a dozen or so species by the end of the year.

Little owl adopting the "I want to kill you" pose.

Whilst wandering through the woodland, we came across our resident Little owl hiding in an old beech tree...after being scared witless by us, it flew into a nearby tree and tried to look like a Scop's owl.

Butterflies, dragons and wildflowers

Having said that I've done no wildlife watching lately, I have managed to get out and about a few times when it's not been raining...and been rewarded with some fantastic views of some of our more obvious invertebrates. In particular, I've enjoyed watching the breathless antics of Broad-bodied chasers on the pond at work. Since mid-June, these high-octane loons have been zooming around the pond and surrounding woodland, with males undertaking incredible aerial dogfights for first-ups on the one or two females present. The lucky stud then has to do some serious mate-guarding in order that a rival doesn't slip in a crafty one...

Female Broad-bodied chaser
Libellula depressa

Marbled whites gettin jiggy widdit.

Gatekeeper on carrot

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