" Welcome to the florafaunauk site , hope you enjoy the pictures and posts giving a detailed insight into the Natural History of our Country throughout the seasons and year "All that the Sun Shines on is beautiful, so long as it is Wild" John Muir "

Friday, 25 April 2014

Bird Of The Day - Greylag Goose - Anser Anser

 Greylag Goose   Anser Anser

Greylag Goose 26509

Greylag Goose 26690

Greylag Goose 26606



The plumage of the Greylag Goose is greyish-brown, with a darker head and paler belly with variable black spots. Its plumage is patterned by the pale fringes of its feathers. It has a white line bordering its upper flanks. Its coverts are lightly coloured, contrasting with its darker flight feathers. Juveniles differ mostly in their lack of a black-speckled belly.

In   Britain,  numbers have declined as a breeding bird, retreating north to breed wild only in the Outer Hebrides and the northern mainland of Scotland. However, during the 20th century, feral populations have been established elsewhere, and have now re-colonised much of England. These populations are increasingly coming into contact. The breeding habitat is a variety of wetlands including marshes, lakes, and damp heather moors.


Grass, roots, cereal leaves and spilled grain

Greylag Goose 26806

Meet The birds

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Bird of The Day - The Blackbird - Turdus merula

The Blackbird - Turdus merula


3518 Blackbird_1

Male All Black

Blackbird 33200

The Common Blackbird Turdus merula is a species of true thrush.The male of the nominate subspecies, which is found throughout most of Europe, is all black except for a yellow eye-ring and bill and has a rich melodious song; the adult female and juvenile have mainly dark brown plumage. This species breeds in woods and gardens, building a neat, mud-lined, cup-shaped nest. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits.


Common over most of its range in woodland, the Common Blackbird has a preference for deciduous trees with dense undergrowth. However, gardens provide the best breeding habitat with up to 7.3 pairs per hectare (nearly three pairs per acre), with woodland typically holding about a tenth of that density, and open and very built-up habitats even less

Male blackbirds establish a territory during their first year, which they will hold throughout their lives. The territory is essential for pair formation and nesting, although only a part of the food is obtained from within it

The breeding season lasts from early March to late July, and chicks are often found in a nest well into August. During this period, blackbirds rear 2-3 broods. In a good year, fourth broods may be attempted. Weather determines the timing of the breeding season.

The normal clutch size is 3-5. Larger clutches are laid in woodland than in gardens. The female incubates alone, and the chicks hatch 13-14 days later. Only the female broods the chicks, but both parents feed them. Chicks in gardens are fed on earthworms when they are available; woodland chicks are fed mainly on caterpillars.

The chicks are ready to fledge at 13-14 days, if the nest is disturbed, they can leave and survive as early as nine days old. This ability to fledge early is an important anti-predator adaptation. The young birds creep and flutter from the nest, and remain in nearby cover for the following few days.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Evening Song - The Song Thrush

Song Thrush seeem to use the Tall Pylons closed to the River to allow their song to reverberate around the nearby Nature reserve

The Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

Song Thrushes or "Throstle"  have a bank of a  hundred or so phrases, selecting from these randomly and typically repeating each phrase several times over. The Mistle Thrush is a more melancholy song . As a general rule Song Thrushes fly lower from Branch to branch , Mistle Thrushes like higher perches to resound their voice

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Bird of The Day - Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus

The Willow Warbler  Phylloscopus trochilus
All Images (C) Colin Duke 2014

Click To Here my Song

Willow Warbler 26881

Willow Warbler 26937

Willow Warbler 26995


A  typical leaf warbler in appearance, 11–12.5 cm long and 7–15 g weight. It is greenish brown above and off-white to yellowish below; the wings are plain greenish-brown with no wingbars. Juveniles are yellower below than adults. It is  similar to the Chiffchaff, but non-singing birds can be distinguished from that species by their paler pinkish-yellow legs (dark brown to blackish in Chiffchaff), longer paler bill, more elegant shape and longer primary projection (wingtip). Its song is a simple repetitive descending whistle, while the contact call is a disyllabic 'hoo-eet', distinct from the more monosyllabic 'hweet' of Chiffchaffs


It is a bird of open woodlands with trees and ground cover for nesting, including most importantly birch, alder, and willow habitats. The nest is usually built in close contact with the ground, often in low vegetation. Like most Old World warblers (Sylviidae), this small passerine is insectivorous.In northern Europe, it is one of the first warblers to return in the spring though is later than the closely related Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita

Willow Warbler 26897

National Distribution Please Allow Time to Load .

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Palmate Newt Lissotriton helveticus

The Palmate Newt Lissotriton helveticus

Palmate Newt 26270


The palmate newt is a small species, males reaching only about 8.5 cm and females 9.5 cm. The base colour of both sexes is olive-green or brown, and a dark mask-like line runs across the head through the eyes; males and some females have a dark spotting on their backs.

Palmate Newt 26262

Sometimes confused with the Smooth Newt, the palmate does not have the spotted throat of the smooth newt, but both sexes have yellow or pale-orange bellies that can show some spotting.

Palmate Newt 26272

The male has webbed hind feet and a low, smooth crest along the back that continues into a slightly higher crest on the tail, ending in a thread-like tip during the breeding season of April - May. Males can also have enlarged cloacal regions when close to breeding due to the spermatophores exerting pressure on the cloacal tissue. The crest and filament become less obvious and may disappear at other times when they become terrestrial. Males also have marked dorsolateral ridges, giving them a rather square cross-section. Females grow to 10 cm (4 in) and males to 8.5 cm (3.3 in). During the breeding season, they are active during the day, as well as night, but outside this period, activity is restricted to rainy or humid nights.

All of our newts are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, prohibiting trade in any of the three species. Declines have been observed in all three species, probably a result of the loss of many ponds across the UK


All of our newts leave hibernation in February or March, returning to ponds for breeding. Weedy ponds without fish are favoured. Weeds provide refuge for newts as well as providing egg-laying locations - on the undersides of leaves. The distribution of palmate newts seems to be influenced by a preference for shallow, soft water pools on acid soils. For palmate newts and great crested newts it is also important to have undisturbed terrestrial habitat around the ponds, providing refuge and good feeding sites. Common newts seem less concerned by the quality of the surrounding habitat.

Common newts are the most terrestrial of the three species, often being found far from water during the summer, when the breeding season is over. Palmate newts also spend much of the summer in terrestrial habitats. Great crested newts spend most of their time around ponds, although a lot of this will be spent on the surrounding land rather than in the water. Outside of the breeding season all three newt species are nocturnal, taking refuge in damp environments such as burrows, compost heaps or under stones during the day. These are also prime hibernation sites for the winter months.

National Distribution Please Allow Time to Load .

VC 63 Distribution  Please Allow Time to Load

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Sheet Lace Weaver - Coelotes likely atropos

Coelotes 26251

Size: Female 9-12 mm; male 7-9 mm. Red head, thorax and legs with a light brown abdomen with a central cardiac mark. C. atropos is very similar to C. terrestris 
The female lays eggs in the tube shaped web and the spiderlings stay with their mother once hatched, feeding on the same prey. At the end of the season the mother dies and is eaten by her offspring. 

National Distribution Please Allow Time to Load .

VC 63 Distribution  Please Allow Time to Load

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Friday, 4 April 2014

Nursery Web Spider - Pisaura miriabils

The Nursery Web Spider Pisaura miriabils - A spider very variable in its ground colour and presentation perhaps more familiar on the thickly bound web on flower heads where it makes a nest

Pisaura mirabilis 26166

National Distribution Please Allow Time to Load .

VC 63 Distribution  Please Allow Time to Load

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Spring Springtail !!

Green Springtail TBC  circa 3-6 mm

Springtail 26158

More on SPRINGTAILS click link

Centipede - Lithobius variegatus

   Lithobius variegatus 

Banded Centipede 26045

National Distribution Please Allow Time to Load .

VC 63 Distribution  Please Allow Time to Load

Confirmation  andThanks to  Steve Gregory  - BMIG