At the moment.... mostly about moths

Friday, 24 April 2009

Great Shunner Fell wildlife

My daughter and I climbed Great Shunner Fell whilst in the Yorkshire Dales last week. It was misty so the views were minimal, however that didn't stop us seeing some interesting wildlife. For instance we came across this very colourful lichen species, Cladonia diversa. As far as I'm aware this is one of the few lichen species coloured red in this way. It's quite widespread, but favours acid environments - which is just what the slopes of Great Shunner Fell are like, since it's very peaty.

Cladonia diversa

We also came across a little pool with a few pond skaters in. We noted however that some of them were smaller than the others and on looking in our guide book later we realised these were a distinct species, called the Water Cricket. Sorry about the poor quality of the picture but this was the best I managed and given this was a new species for me I wanted to share.

Water cricket (Velia caprai)

A couple more sightings of interest included some well developed frog spawn, looking like it would soon hatch and later some close views of a pair of Golden Plover. This is was of particular interest for us since my daughter and I had twitched an American Golden Plover back in Kent last summer. Since this was my daughter's first sighting of the normal variety she now has both on her list - can't be many UK folks who see the American version before they see the European variety!

No comments: