Friday, March 16, 2012

The Weekend Browse

I've got a week's holiday coming up, so I thought I'd post 'The Weekend Browse' a day early.

On Tuesday I posted images of this erythristic Rabbit from Freshwater Bay. BBC Nature UK have a helpful page that explores the various colour variations we find in our local wildlife.

Badger Watching Man is an old friend from Bedfordshire. With my passion for getting young people involved with their local wildlife I was really encouraged to read of his walk with the local Beaver Group, giving the children an 'I-Spy' sheet with various signs to look out for. Simple, but very effective!

Whilst on the subject of Badgers, I came across this disturbing post from Wildlife Kate concerning 2 Badgers that appeared to have been hit by cars which, it turns out, were more likely shot and then dumped at the side of the road. When it's safe to do so this has spurred me on to check 'roadkill' Badgers in the future, though I sincerely hope that I won't find evidence of this despicable and illegal practice.

Further north, Ron Bury has managed to get some great trailcam footage of Pine Martens, including sequences of them mating and of a Pine Marten trying to catch a mouse!

Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust have published the results of their 2011 Oil Beetle Survey. The distribution maps, which you can view here, show that the Oil Beetle species do seem to have declined. You can find out all about these fascinating creatures and submit your records for 2012 via the Oil Beetle Hunt webpages.

Earlier this week I came across the Spider & Harvestman Recording Scheme website. The species index is a great tool for exploring what arachnids live in your area with photos and distribution maps for each species. You can also follow a link on the home page to the site of the Spider Recording Scheme newsletters going right back (3 a year) to 1999. Reading people's reports of days spent in the field - whatever the particular species interest - is one of my most enjoyable pastimes!

How on earth do orb spiders manage to move around their webs without getting stuck? BBC Nature published a report this week highlighting research from Costa Rica that shows just how they avoid getting into a sticky mess!!

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