Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Weekend Browse....

I've spent a lot of time recently trying to catch up with the local Water Voles and even manage some half-decent Water Vole footage. Then, on Sunday, Terry Whitaker put some amazing video footage on his Photo Blog. I was drooling!! :-)

Thanks to Caroline for referrring me to last nights The One Show with it's report on a Polecat living under the decking of Fiona Leach's garden on a housing estate in Cheadle Hulme in Cheshire. Wow...I'm so envious! What got me is the pet rabbit that was wandering around the garden, too...surely he will disappear one day, just like the fish in the garden pond!! I don't know how long the show will be available on catch-up, but the relevant piece is just over 14 minutes into the programme.

Steven Falk is well-known to most people with a serious interest in insects. His illustrations in my 'Stubbs & Falk' Hoverfly guide helped to get me really interested in identifying and studying my local hoverflies. A few weeks ago he published his own website which is a work in development. The signs already look really good: Steven has already made a number of his local publications available on the site. If you're interested in bees and wasps you will especially want to have a browse! Steven also has an amazing photographic collection of wildlife that he's gradually uploading to his Flickr account...with a link from the website.

I've come across 2 fascinating Red Fox tales this week. Firstly, it appears that not only the British people, but the British Red Foxes are getting heavier! The pretty impressive photo above is used by BBC Nature on their page describing the shooting of the largest Red Fox killed in the UK, weighing in at a staggering 38lbs 1oz (17.2kg). It was shot whilst trying to increase its girth with a bit of Aberdeen lamb! The article explores whether Red Foxes are, indeed, getting bigger.

Then, Mike's Wilden Marsh blog contains a fascinating account of a Red Fox catching a Mole.

Is it possible for a person to get really passionate about searching for flies in winter? Miranda Krestovnikoff boasts the grand title of being the Collections Manager of Diptera at the Natural History Museum. If you listen to her recent broadcast on The Living World you might end up wishing you had a ghostbusters' kit like hers, too!!

Butterfly Conservation are a great charity, and they are offering a free annual subscription for the next 12 months. You can see the details via the Wildlife Extra website. You've got until the end of March to register your details.

 I've always wanted to learn to identify the Ground Beetles or 'Carabids'. That's going to be made so much easier this year because of the amazing photographic guides that John Walters & Mark Telfer are in the process of making available, and most of them by free download. You can find John Walters' website here. You'll find the guides under 'Publications'. The Carabid section of Mark Telfer's website can be found here. I can't commend these resources highly enough!


  1. An excellent read as always steve. I started watching bugs last summer when the birds went on their hols, look forward to learning more this year!! When I see blogs like yours I realize how much I have to learn, but Im raring to go!
    Have a nice weekend,

  2. Hi Dave,
    The more I get out, the more I realise how very little I know....but it keeps you humble and it's a delight to learn new things every day (the trouble is that I then often forget! :-) ),
    Have a great day,