Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wales I

25th June, 2013                                                                      
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                                           Ironbridge

Before Wales steals the show there is more from England. To shorten the long drive an overnight stop was made at Ironbridge, a small village nestled along the River Severn. Since it was only overnight stay there was little time to travel around here, though nontheless there was a lot to see. I was fortunate to find a cardinal beetle in the undergrowth along the river side, in a shaded area which was quite diverse in life. Greater celandine, a plant I've always seen in books but never previously seen, was very common along some areas here. In the forest across the river there was a black-headed cardinal beetle, the cardinal beetle's rarer and black-headed cousin. I previously lacked any photos of either species (though had seen both in my past, at a time when I had no camera access), so it was quite fortuitous to be able to photograph both of these rather uncommon beetles within an hour of each other. A blood-vein moth was a common species over most of the UK, but another first for me since mothing was not something I had ever had a chance to be involved in. I will not post photos of them for the sake of my blog's image capacity.

In the afternoon there was a kingfisher over the river, another previously seen species in my past but not one I had ever seen when I've had a camera on hand. It was unfortunately distant and the lighting was poor but it doesn't change the fact that this is a photo of a kingfisher.
It did sit, but not long enough for decent pictures.

A small garden named Dales End Park was watched over by a pair of spotted flycatchers. I had not seen the species in the UK before, but have seen a couple in France back in 2009.

26th June, 2013                                                                      
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                                           Snowdonia  

Snowdonia is a frequent destination in North Wales, and it certainly is hard to miss. This National Park compromises about a third of the northern region of Wales and is attractive to tourists, climbers and wildlife watchers. The Snowdon lily, a white flower in the high hills, takes the name of this location, though to ruin this  image of a rare mountain flower (its rare in the UK at least) it is actually found all over the world in many locations. Then again, it is thought to be a bit more significant in the UK since it is not only local and low in distribution. I don't imagine global warming will help this species at all, something that will probably happen with the small mountain ringlet as well.

Since the first day was a exploration of the local town and rest from the drive there was little to report. The "hawk of fish" as it is translated from the welsh gwalch y psygod breeds in the Snowdon mountains, and one such RSPB site named Glaslyn (named after the lake that the birds feed from) offered opportunities to see the birds. Though it did indeed offer sightings, the white speck visible through the very expensive looking giant super-telescopes provided at the hide were unquestionably disappointing. No doubt the worst bird photo ever taken, but still, I guess it is still a "tick". I don't imagine the crystal clear close up photos of these birds all over the hide and visitor centre were taken through those telescopes or from this distance.

That white and brown blob on that exposed tree branch is it.
Its there, I promise. The second white spot on the branch to the right might be
another but its impossible to tell from here. That dark U-shape in the
branches to the right of the centre is where the nest is hiding.

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