Wednesday, 12 March 2014

We have lift-off

This is the second day of sunshine and everything has leapt into action.

Along the sheltered ditch I found:

Lesser Celandine:

Lesser Celandine


Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage:

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage covers the rear wall of ditches and wet banks around here. Here's a habit shot from the back wall of the stream:

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage on the ditch wall

I also checked the Greater Stitchwort plants just a little further along, but they're still pretending to be blades of grass:

Leaves of Greater Stitchwort
I also hunted for 7-spot ladybirds along the sunnier side of the track and found this single specimen just before the end:

7-spot Ladybird
Back home and I spotted this female Eristalis tenax hoverfly on Dandelion:

Female Eristalis tenax nectaring after emerging from hibernation
Females of Eristalis tenax are the only members of the family to hibernate. Other Eristalis species overwinter as pupae and won't emerge for a few weeks yet. So although the puparium will offer some protection from the cold, the female E. tenax has survived the exposure and now has a head start on getting her eggs laid.

Monday, 10 March 2014

High pressure at last

The seemingly endless cycle of low-pressure weather systems appears to have ended, and we currently have a high-pressure area coming up from the south. This will bring sunnier days and colder nights, but that's a vast improvement on the rain we've had since November.

The relative heat brought out a fresh Dandelion, although they seem to be in flower all year round nowadays:


We have quite a few Buzzards in the local area, and I see some most days. Now that the next-door Rooks are nest-building, the Buzzards like to survey the rookery, presumably planning future raids. I heard this one calling to its mate and got a quick shot (with macro lens!) as it flew overhead:

They usually fly in pairs, although later in the year we can see whole family groups flying when the youngsters are being trained up.

Work on my Donegal Wildlife database is continuing at a reasonable pace, with perhaps 400 of my 1550 species in place at this stage. It's certainly worth a look, although there are still some broken links and blank pages. You can find it here: 

The 'News' section at the top left of the home page is always kept up to date with the latest entries.

Feedback is always welcome, whether it's here or on the guestbook page on the database.