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Showing posts from February, 2015

Animal of the Month

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Welcome to Animal of the Month for February 2015. Every month, we will announce our favourite animal that has been featured on the blog at some point during the month.

Which animal has been our favourite this month?

Contenders
Northern Fulmar
Ringed Plover
Barrel Jellyfish
Grey Seal

Winner: Northern Fulmar
The discovery of the healthy population of Northern Fulmar in Tenby was very exciting, and the one thing that made it stand out was how close you could get to these birds. It allowed me to really appreciate the birds better than I ever have before, and realise what amazing birds they really are. It is great news that their numbers are increasing in Britain, and I hope it will continue into the future. The Barrel Jellyfish looked like the winner this month although, as it was dead when we found it, I decided it wouldn't be an appropriate winner of Animal of the Month.




Fact File
Name: Northern Fulmar
Scientific Name: Fulmarus glacialis
Family: Procellariidae
Diet: Shrimp, Fish, Jellyfish, Carr…

Tenby's Hidden Fulmar

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In Tenby, right under the noses of the holidaymakers lies a small seabird sanctuary. The area is cut off to the public at high tide, but at low tide, it is connected to Tenby's North Beach by a small stretch of sand. This area consists of numerous small bays, each underneath towering cliffs. Most of these bays disappear at high tide but, when accessible, they hold a relatively large population of (Northern) Fulmar.



Our first visit to the area was only intended as a walk, and we were unaware that there were any seabirds there at all. It was only on our second trip, where we walked along almost all the bays, that we realised how healthy the population was. There were pairs of Fulmar sitting together on small ledges on the cliffs, and many birds in the air as well. Northern Fulmar are known to live for a long time by bird standards, with females breeding as old as forty, so the ages of these birds would vary greatly.



Above is a video of the Fulmar, filmed in Tenby.

It is brilliant that …

Washed Up in Wales

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Our first full day in Wales, and we decided to go for a long walk down Tenby's South Beach. The aim was to see if anything had been swept up by the sea, and also to look for birdlife and other animals on the way.

So we started our walk, and almost immediately, we came across evidence of sealife, washed up by the sea. A huge crab claw was lying on the beach, as well as a razor clam shells littered all around it. A great start!

After this promising start, we continued to walk down the beach. It was quite a way down before we saw our next animal, and it wasn't just one. There was a small crowd of small birds, who looked brilliantly camouflaged against the pebbles and the sand of the beach. I would have to get closer to confirm what they were. I crept around the back of them, hoping not to be seen, and my method worked. I managed to get a lot closer than I expected, which allowed me to take some photos and to identify them. They were Ringed Plover, with the odd Sanderling in amongst…

Back to Thursley

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Yesterday, we returned to Thursley Common, to again try and capture some good images of the Dartford Warbler, and Thursley's other star species. 




We began to walk our usual route, heading for the usual spot where we see the Dartford Warbler. We approached carefully, making sure we didn't scare it away. But when we arrived, we couldn't see any movement or hear any birdsong. It was eerily quiet. In fact, we had barely seen any birds by this point, apart from a few crows flying over. It certainly wasn't looking promising.

We continued to walk along the stretch of gorse where we regularly see the Dartford Warbler, hoping to at least catch a glimpse of it. Suddenly, a small dark bird whizzed out from literally right beside us. The Dartford! It had been crouching in the gorse alongside us all along, but it had avoided our view until now. Unfortunately it flew off, and again went out of sight. We carried on along the gorse and, unbelievably, another one flew out, again from rig…