Viewing entries tagged
Common Frog

Finally Found Frogs!

When is the last time you saw a pond full of Frogs? not just a little bit of Frogspawn in the corner? Well for me, it’s been a long time. Torfaen just doesn’t seem to have as many as we used to. Not sure why. It could be predation, climate, or we’re just going thru a couple bad years in general for amphibians.
Maybe it’s because they’re getting earlier each year and I’m just missing the activity?
The latter certainly would make sense as you could have swore it was spring today in Blaenserchan. 20+ Frogs with a substantial amount of Frogspawn already. I’ve been after a good close up shot of a Frog in the water for a while and it was a bonus to get them with the spawn in-shot. The first pic is now one of my all-time personal favourites, partly because it took a lot of patience to get it. My back is certainly feeling it after being on the floor for so long. The issue with this particular pond is, it’s located in the upper altitude of Blaenserchan, so they just weren’t used to people. All it would take is for me to scratch my nose and they would all disappear in the depths for 20 minutes at a time. Either way it was worth it.

I assume the fungi above is Candle-snuff Fungi that’s gone over but i’m not entirely sure. They didn’t seem rounded enough to be Dead Moll’s Finger’.

It was only the other day that I set out to the Forest of Dean to witness the iconic Goshawk display that happens this time of year. Even with the breath taking view of Symonds Yat that overlooks the forest, you’d be lucky to come across a Goshawk perched up. So you can imagine my excitement to stumbled across one today on my way home from Blaenserchan. A bit distant even at 600mm and I didn’t have my scope with me to enjoy it but I was happy to spot it. I was looking for Great Grey Shrike at this point and the white belly of this Goshawk just stood out to me from a mile.

Goshawk

Macro

Quick Job update for those that might want to know. My new Job at Aden Productions is so far going really well. I've never had so much pride for a Job before. I've met great people so far, and experienced some unforgettable wildlife events that will stick with me for a life time. 

While I still very much so specialise in Birds, this year I'm making use of a new Macro Lens to help me learn more about Uk's invertebrate and flora. As a naturalist, there's always something new to learn and I'm certainly not stopping at just birds. If I do post a pic up of an insect or plant that I've wrongly identified, please tell me as I'm going to put myself out on a limb and try and work some out for myself without exploiting my friends knowledge too much. I feel this is going to be the best way to learn. Taking pictures is a great way to learn, and for me, absolutely crucial. 

Also, if anyone can recommend any field ID books for Bee's, Wasps, Spiders & Moths, I'd appreciate it! My books are far from complete records as I can't seem to find any of these subjects I've taken so far. The Solitary Bee is probably a common species as I had lots of them in my Garden but despite this, I can't seem to find it in any of my wildlife books. The Green Orb-weaver is apparently a difficult one to ID without capturing it so I'll leave that one. You'll notice amongst the photos is a cool looking melanistic Common Lizard! First time for everything. 

Patch Re-visit

As planned, a re-visit for a better photograph of a Black Darter lead to finding a beautiful female. Still lots of other Dragonflies flying there including a Southern Hawker which I haven't actually had there all year as it's been mainly Common Hawker and Migrants so far. Still lots of Froglets on the rocks, which to be fair make really great subjects to photograph and to top it off, another pair of Redkites! This time carrying what looked to be a mouse or even a rat. At first I thought it may have been tagged but looking closely it is actually a mouse. Another great couple of hours spent in this fantastic place. 

If you didn't notice in my 'events' calendar, today marks a special day for the Moon called 'Blood Moon' and even though the peak isn't till 1am in the morning, (to which I'm certainly not staying up for as I have work in the morning) - You can already see the colour emerging while rising late in the evening. 

My Secret Patch Delivers Again

If you're wondering why I have a secret patch, it's certainly not because I don't want to share it with you! It's mainly down to how many protected species actually nest there. I'm very torn because the site is by far my favourite location in South Wales. Even better than Llandegfedd Reservoir and you all know how much I love Llandegfedd!. Today I had another new Species for me in the form of a Black Darter and also an Unidentified Fungi that appears to be one of these Carnivorous types as it had a fly stuck in there much like a Sundew Plant. It appears to be a Fungi growing ontop of another Fungi but I'm still waiting to hear back from the professionals on that one. Lots of Froglets hopping around the floor today! I had so much fun photographing these little guys! I almost got a shot of them hopping off the stones but it was slightly out of focus. I may visit again tomorrow for a better photograph of the Black Darter.