Safari in Maes y Pant
I've been on safaris all over the world and still get excited at seeing exotic animals and birds (and even the not so exotic) in their natural habitat. Reverend Hugh Linn has kindly sent me some photographs of his walk in Maes y Pant on June 23 (2015) where he captured exotic creatures of the insect world in his camera lens, including an unwelcome foreign visitor, the Harlequin ladybird, which he has reported as required. There is another world there. Today (July 1) when I visited there were 4 broad bodied chaser dragonflies racing around our new pond. 3 sky blue males engaged in aerial battles and the winner mating with the dowdier female. I couldn't resist stopping for 10 minutes, even though I was busy.
1. Cardinal beetle 4. Longhorn Beetle
2. Harlequin Ladybird 5. Soldier Beetle
3. Greenbottle 6. Broad bodied chaser
Well, here we are on 24 January 2014 and we still haven't had a proper winter yet. On my walks around the site, I've managed to take one or 2 more photos of fungi which I've included below. The main task has been to clean and replace the 9 nest boxes on site. 8 had been used during the summer, although one had been badly predated by a squirrel. 5 (including the predated box) had been used by blue tits, 2 by great tits and one I wasn't sure about. The damaged one has been repaired and made squirrel proof (hopefully) and 2 more of this design added. Many thanks to Gordon Adams for making the original nest boxes and to John Berry who has repaired the damaged one and added the extra boxes. On the last volunteers day (22 Jan) we noticed that blue tits were showing a big interest in 2 of the boxes - for their sakes let's hope some bad weather curbs their enthusiasm.
Autumn is a season of fruitfulness, frosts and migrating winter birds, and many other things. I’m writing this at the end of October (2013) and we haven’t had a frost yet. It's an upside down month as I have seen chiffchaffs in Maes y Pant this month and the wintering redwings have returned as well. Good job! as the fruiting trees are laden. However when I’ve been out walking in the last week, I’ve been struck by the number of fungi. It has to be a bumper year. Unfortunately I don’t know what they are but if you look at them closely, they are all very striking in their way. I’m hooked. Most of them are in the northern part of the site. If anyone wants to contact us and tell us what they are then we’d be delighted.
All these fungi were seen in one walk, although it took 2 walks to get the photos I wanted but we have seen other fungi over the last 12 months or so, including some magnificent bracket fungi.
Happy hunting and let us know your thoughts on what these are and send us your photos of any fungi you find on site.