Archive for August 23rd, 2010

23rd August 2010, Monday

The avoidance of confusion

Two weeks ago I found a shrill carder bee Bombus sylvarum on the Dungeness RSPB reserve, and as it was the first British specimen of this bee I have seen I took a voucher specimen.  This might seem an odd practice for someone always banging on about bee conservation, and I admit to feeling guilty afterwards.  I’m glad I did though, for two reasons.

The following week several similar, though rather worn looking bees were observed in the same area.  Closer examination with Geoff Allen and Nikki Gamans revealed that they were a different species, a type of flower bee Anthophora furcata (thanks to Dave Walker for the following photo).

Anthophora furcata - photo by Dave Walker

These insects were confusing Read the rest of this entry »

23rd August 2010, Monday

Between the showers

Sunday 22nd August 2010. Arrived around 7am,and went to Pett Pools, but not much to be seen there, so I never took much time to head off to Carter Flood, where I spent the rest of the morning, sheltering from the heavy rain showers and bird watching of course! The water level was a bit low but the waders seem to like it with 4 Wood Sand,6Green Sand,12 Greenshank,5 L.R.Plover,1 Ruff, 6 Snipe. Not much else apart from 2 Little Owl, 1 Barn Owl and 1 Spotted Flycatcher and a Treecreeper. Good bird watching Pete.

23rd August 2010, Monday

Have you seen Top Shells here?

gibbula_umbilicalis_2.jpg
While I was in Whitstable last week, I saw this KWT Shoresearch leaflet.

It surprised me because I had in fact found a Top Shell for the first time at Pett Level a week or so previously.
I hadn’t been thinking straight however and because
a)I’d seen them mostly in collections brought back by children from W Country holidays and
b) it was at the top of the beach, I unthinkingly dismissed it as part of a discarded collection.
I didn’t even keep it to check the exact species.

A cautionary tale………….

23rd August 2010, Monday

Wildlife politics

For the last month the Treasury has been asking the public for their views on how the UK Government spends its money. They will now continue to review the budgets of each department right up until the final announcement on 20 October. There is still have time to prevent cuts that may cause permanent damage to our wildlife and countryside. Click here to follow the RSPB campaign.
For background information read RSPB’s Mark Avery’s blog.

23rd August 2010, Monday

Beach Reserve

A great taste of early autumn weather this morning, grey, low cloud, drizzle and a strong wind, (= no people), and I must say I enjoyed every bit of it. Avian highlights were not thin on the ground either, a group of 62 Knot most in summer plumage feeding along the shore was a nice find as was 23 Grey Plover again in summer plumage. Additional interest was provided by a Great Skua lingering around the low water tide line and 2 Arctic Skua roosting on the higher sand banks further up the shore, a group of 25 Sand Martins were also there flying low across the sand against the wind, but getting nowhere.