Monday, 14 November 2011

15/06/2011 Monkey Forest

I will get there honestly, I have to balance the catch up work I am doing on my blog with my University work. The photographs of the barbary macaques are from a trip to Monkey Forest in Staffordshire.

University can be a little annoying sometimes, but I do enjoy it, I am currently working on an assignment looking at what has made the red squirrel decline in the UK and it is bringing up some interesting facts. It is not just the parapoxvirus causing the decline, the other major factor is the red squirrels being killed on the road. I'll keep you updated on this. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Pensthorpe - June 4th 2011

After having a few further problems with uploading photographs on here it looks like the issue is finally resolved, thankfully. Back to the business of getting up to date with all my day trips on here.

These photographs are from a trip to Pensthorpe back in June (that's such a long time ago now). 
Ruff Philomachus pugnax

Blue Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans

Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

Redshank Tringa totanus

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Rutland Water - 1st June

A trip to Rutland Water, on the 1st of June 2011, was rather rewarding. A total of 57 bird species, 3 species of butterfly, 3 mammals, and 1 insect. It wasn't a fantastic day for photography though unfortunately so I just focused on taking notes of what I had seen. I have just 1 photograph here, but it's not great. The Forest Bug Pentatoma rufipes nymph isn't particularly in focus but I thought it was a good photograph to show the nymph of this bug.

Forest Bug nymph

Mint Moth

I took this photograph of the Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata in my garden at the beginning of May:

Mint Moth

Monday, 27 June 2011

Blog is back.

Tawny Owl 1
After a lot of hard work and help from Blogger my blog is now fixed so I can start adding photographs again and tell yourselves about my journey.

I've missed writing on here an awful lot, and I've got a huge back log of things I've wanted to write on here, but I'm sure over the next few days I'll be able to get back on track.

I've been bird ringing for about a year and a half now. At the beginning of May 2011, I went out with my ringing trainer and checked owl boxes where tawny owls Strix aluco may be breeding. There were approximately 10 owl boxes to check, three of these boxes had tawny owls in, and 2 had eggs. The eggs were left, but the chicks couldn't be rung because they were too young, so it was arranged to come back in 2 weeks to check.

Tawny Owl 2
Tawny Owl 3

So 2 weeks went by and I went back out with my ringing trainer. The next boxes with eggs in hadn't hatched unfortunately, and one box now had 1 chick not 2 so it was assumed due to the lack of food sources one owl had eaten the other. Looking back at past records of tawny owl ringing there has been quite a decline in the numbers this year due to the bad winter we had here in the UK.

The photograph (Tawny owl 4) was taken at the beginning of May. The Tawny owl 5 photograph is the same chick 2 weeks later.
Tawny Owl 4

Tawny Owl 5

Friday, 3 June 2011


Please bare with me, I'm currently trying to resolve an issue with my blog (my photographs will not load onto the site). I will try and get this sorted as soon as possible. Thank you.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Chestnut Centre: Owl, Otter and Wildlife Park

A fantastic day out yesterday, I visited the Chestnut Centre in the High Peak in Derbyshire. The aim of the trip was for a day out but also in preperation for my dissertation in 2 years time. My next aim is to visit again within a few months and to speak to the keepers about possibly studying the otters for a few days. Chestnut doesn't just focus on otters, it also focuses on owls and other native british species, and for anyone who has a passion about the native wildlife this is a recommended place to visit.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Greenpeace: Fish Matters

Following on from my blog entry in October last year regarding Prince's Tuna, I sent off for Greenpeace's 'Fish Matters: helping you make the better choice' which I'm going to address now. Within the introductory letter there was also a small booklet and an advertisement leaflet. The main information is in the booklet.

The world's oceans are being destroyed by overfishing because fish are wanted for food and the oceans limits are being exceeded. Since 1950 tuna, cod and swordfish numbers have fallen by around 90%. Sea beds are destroyed by the current fishing practices, and because of this seabirds, turtles, sharks and dolphins are being caught alongside the targeted fish.

Supermarkets, like-minded companies and the Governement need to act responsibly to change their policies to protect the environment. The fishing industry will be forced to change their fishing methods so as to minimise the bycatch.

Scientific evidence suggest large networks of marine reserves are needed to protect the ocean life. The Governments are under pressure from companies who are forcing this pressure upon them, which personally I think is needed because our oceans need to be protected.

Marine reserves are off limits from fishing, meaning fish stocks can regrow in size, and numbers. Vulnerable species will be protected, species such as: sharks, tuna and swordfish. This will give the marine species the chance to survive the changes in climate change.

Regarding buying fish, and where to buy it from is difficult but for supermarkets this is clear, Sainsburys, Waitrose, The Co-Operative and Marks and Spencers. These supermarkets have the most progressive sourcing policies. Supermarkets sell 90% of the fish sold in the UK, so the change in policies could transform the fishing industry.
Below are 2 quotes from 2 supermarkets.

'The scale of moving all of our tinned tuna to 100% pole and line caught was a massive investment, but we are convinced it was the most sustainable alternative. We did not pass the cost of doing this on to our customers as they expect us to do the right thing' - Ally Dingwall, Sainsburys.

'M&S supports the establishment of large scale no-take marine reserves and believes that the retail sector has a crucial role to play in supporting the initiative' - Richard Luney M&S.

Wherever you by your fish from be sure to ask these questions:
  1. 'Where do the fish come from?'
  2. 'Are the population in decline?'

  3. 'How was it caught?'
  4. 'Why is that sustainable?'

  5. 'Can you recommend the most sustainable fish option for me?'

This booklet states the following: 'If your supplier doesn't know where the fish comes from - or can't answer the questions, the chances are that it doesn't come from a sustainable source'.

Greenpeace's red list of fish to avoid are highlighted, these species have a very high risk of coming from unsustainable sources. This list can be found at:

Joint best: Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencers, 2nd: Waitrose. 3rd: The Co-Operative, 4th: Tesco, 5th: ASDA, 6th: Morrisons, 7th: John West, WORST: PRINCES

Greenpeace also states the following: ' Sustainability is not just about fresh fish. If you're buying tinned tuna, make sure it's pole and line caught'

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Save Our Forests

A lot of you may have already heard about the campaign to save England's ancient forests. The Government is planning on selling off a lot of national forests, forests can then be "auctioned and fenced off, run down, logged or turned into golf courses and holiday villages", do we really need to be doing this, in my opinion no we do not.

A lot of wildlife will be under threat because they depend upon the forests for food and shelter. Nightjars, deer, redstarts and insects are just a few examples of the species that could be under threat.

Some of you may have visited The Forest of Dean, Sherwood Forest, and the New Forest (attract a lot of tourists), and they under under threat because of the Governments plans. Once these forests are gone, they are gone, they will be lost forever.

The Woodland Trust and 38 Degrees are asking people to say petitions to stop this from happening, I have signed poth petitions, are you going to do the same? Click on the 2 pictures below and they will take you to the form that needs to be signed and the websites also give you more information if you wish to read before signing.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

New Year

Since the last post in my blog (October 2010) I have been working hard in my 2nd year at University and putting this blog to one side for a little while: I'm focusing on getting my degree but my blog has always been on my mind.

A lot has happened since October: plans to move to Shetland, plans to go to Borneo to help with the orangutan project and meeting David Bellamy. Moving to Shetland and visiting Borneo is a task that cannot be planned over night it involves a lot of planning and of course money is the big issue especially in this economic downturn. Within the next few years I will hopefully be going to Borneo, Shetland may have to wait a while longer.

My University course is going well and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Some of the modules have not been easy at University but I knew it wasn't going to be. Already I am making plans on what to do for my dissertation assuming I pass my final year of my FdSc.

I'll update soon.