Your Wildlife Spots

Early Purple Orchid

During a walk across our fields this afternoon, I counted 93 blooms of the Early Purple Orchid in an area in one of our fields that usually has several of them at this time of year.  However, it has been some years since there have been so many.  I understand their numbers fluctuate from year to year - obviously 2014 is a "good year".

 I suspect I can probably round up the number to 100 as I am bound to have missed some out while counting and one or two are sure to have been hiding behind bramble bushes!   

first cuckoo

Just heading out for work at 6.15 this morning and heard my first cuckoo of the year.  The call was from the same direction where I photographed one last year.  This is the first time I have heard a cuckoo here in April this millennium, I believe.  On informing Mike after getting back from work, he said "Oh yes, I heard it yesterday" Huh!

A Dunnock's nest

While checking dormouse boxes this morning, a small brown bird shot out of a clump of ivy on a branch. 

I peered in to find this deep, cup-shaped nest with four perfect, bright turquoise eggs ~ they could have been made of chocolate!

The photo does not do the colour justice and I just quickly held the camera over the nest and pressed; no time to fine tune settings and compose the picture properly.

First sighting of a Swallow?

On Wednesday morning, April 9th after driving past the Pennygillam roundabout near the top of the hill that runs down towards the old tip entrance at Bangors, and slowed down (conveniently) by a laden tractor & trailor, I spied a bird on a wire. As it stretched out its wings I realised that it was indeed a Swallow; they do nest in the barn next to the road.

Chiffchaffs & Blackcaps have been in the garden for a couple of weeks so we just need the Cuckoo for spring to be complete! 

Oil Beetles~ Violet or Black?

Last recorded here in 2011, this year is proving to be a 'bumper' year in the garden for oil beetles.

First one emerged by the front gate on March 19th; then in the greenhouse (a mistake on its behalf) on the 30th. But this week on April 8th., there were two mating in the front garden. First noticed just before 10am, they finally separated just after 10:30am but stayed close by, eating enthusiastically! I was quite amazed at the speed at which Celandine (Ranunculas ficaria) leaves and flowers were being consumed.

House Sparrow decline ~ recent research

Just received this from the BTO which might be of interest as the research is based on 'citizen science' from the Garden Birdwatch, Breeding Bird Survey and nest records.

Click here to link to the web-page and an abstract of the research paper that you can read.

House Sparrows are back in the vegetable garden hedge after being absent for most of the winter.

Frogs spawn

Further to my previous post, I can now report that I have frogs spawning in my pond.  At times it looks as though the water is boiling, there is so much activity.

Interestingly, a few days ago, I came across spawn that had already hatched in one of our field ditches, so it must be a couple of weeks older than that in our garden pond. 

ERCCIS Recorders Forum + CISFBR AGM March 1st.

All those who are interested in recording wildlife are welcome to attend this meeting on Saturday March 1st., 9:30am to 4pm at Fraddon Village Hall (map ref: SW910577).

The main presentation will be about Online Recording in Kernow & Scilly~ quickly rendered down to ORKS which will be the system that our parish wildlife project will soon be using so it is of great interest!

Pond Owners, can you help?

Amphibious banner

Amphibian Disease in Cornwall~

Pond Owners, can you help?

Chytrid fungus and ranavirus are two amphibian diseases causing population declines globally, and in the case of chytrid fungus, global extinctions.

The Rocks around You~ talk on the 21st at the Liskerrett Centre, Liskeard

Some of you may be interested in the latest talk from the Caradon Amateur Geology Group (CAGG) which is called: 'Field Geology 101~ Everything You Need to Know About the Rocks Around You'. Polzeath Field Trip

Friday, Feb 21st at 7:30pm. Adults £1.50, Juniors 50p. in the Main Hall of the Liskerrett Centre, Liskeard. Click here for map & directions.

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