Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Playing catch up

Ok, I know I'm really bad at getting around to posting anything on this blog so I've decided that I should either write something regularly or just give up on the idea. I'll start by summarising the highlights of the year so far over the next few days.

The winter was fairly dull and went on far too long but a few things stick in the mind. One was a visit to Blashford Lakes where I managed to get a few half-decent shots of one of the Bitterns over the heads of the photographers who were hogging the only window in the hide that actually opens (as usual!).

I also saw my only Brambling of the winter - sadly it was a female.

The highlight for me though was managing to find the Eyelash Fungus at last. I had looked for it the previous winter and failed. If only all fungi were as distinctive as this one.

Given that I am generally avoiding twitching birds this year, and the winter was just going on forever, meaning that insects were non-existent, I have resorted to twitching a few plants. My first ever plant twitch was for Mezereon at Greywell. All the other local sites seem to be in woodland on the downs so it is rather strange that this colony is in Alder carr. Nevertheless, expert opinion deems the colony native.

On 1st April is was still cold and miserable with a biting wind so I headed over to a wood near Walderton on the Hants / West Sussex border where Green Hellebore was flowering:

Afterwards I went down to the coast where I failed to find any sign of a particular moth larva feeding on the Butterbur but I did find the non-native Giant Butterbur.

A few migrant Chiffchaffs had arrived but were completely silent and were foraging in the grass in the lee of any shelter they could find. I felt like joining them.

The remainder of April to follow tomorrow - hopefully.

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