Blog Postings

The postings will be introductions to each of my life lists. The lists themselves will appear in the side margin. I shall do some postings about particular localities and there will also be postings to provide updates every time I add a new species.
Please note that I am not qualified in any aspect of natural history - there will therefore be occasional (or, apparently, in the case of the hoverflies, a lot of) errors.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Where I am now

   My life did not come to an end on Friday 23rd March 2012 (as one one-time reader of one of my blogs surmised).  Nor did my photography or interest in natural history stop.  It is simply that I couldn't cope with having so many blogs and decided to concentrate on my main one - Rambles from My Chair. If you wish to see what I've been photographing of late just click on the link and join me there.  You'll be most welcome.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Great Spotted Woodpeckers

   We heard two woodpeckers in the garden this week but couldn't see either of them.  We assume they were Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Astropecten irregularis

 I came across a few new species of things during my Scottish holiday this year but by far the best was the starfish Astropecten irregularis.  I may have seen it before but failed to recognise it.

We rescued this one from an exposed piece of hard sand at Gairloch and placed it on some soft sand in which it buried itself in less than 30 seconds.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Blister Beetle


This tiny, ant-like beetle is a blister beetle of the family Meloidae – perhaps an Anthicus species, possibly Anthicius floralis – the narrow-necked harvest beetle. Like most creatures on the Island it enjoys aggravating humans. In this case it pierces the skin and injects canthadrin – a poisonous chemical which causes blistering of the skin. (Canthadrin is used medically to remove warts). For the purposes of scientific research and a better photo I allowed it to have a go at me. When not busy biting it was sprinting all over my hand which made it difficult to photograph. Once stationery and biting it was easier to photograph – the things I do for science!

I can confirm that being injected with canthadrin hurts.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Birds in the garden

A new bird visitor was added to the garden list today - a female Chaffinch. That makes 24 species we have seen in the garden itself (not counting those that just fly overhead).

The number of species that actually nest in the garden has also increased this year and although no Collared Doves nested, as they often do, (I think the Sparrowhawk is to blame for that) we had 8 species - Robin, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wood Pigeon, Starling, Blackbird, Great Tit and Blue Tit. Not bad for a small suburban garden.