Seal swims from Dutch Texel to Cornwall


This video says about itself:

22 January 2015

Stranded Seal Pups are released into the wild in Cornwall.

The National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek has let six of the creatures go this morning.

They include Superman, Wonderwoman and Bruce Wayne.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Victor seen in Cornwall – 06-02-15

Not only gray seals are travelers, harbour seals also explore the North Sea. This has been proven by harbor seal Victor. He surprised staff at Ecomare by making the crossing to England. Victor arrived last year on July 11 at Ecomare as an orphan in the shelter and was equipped with a chip and a flipper marker. On November 7 he was released in the Wadden Sea. For three weeks he has by now resided along the Cornish coast at Par Beach, and he has become a local celebrity.

Traveler

Possibly Victor has explored much more than just the beach of Cornwall. In the River Fowey in Cornwall, a bit further, spotted a harbour seal was spotted as well. Presumably this was Victor as well. So, a real traveler! Unfortunately Victor on Par Beach could not rest completely undisturbedly. Hikers with dogs sometimes came too close to the young seal, thereby disturbing him. Subsequently, members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue caught Victor on 2 February.

Released while healthy

With only a small wound on the flipper, presumably caused by a dog bite, Victor appeared otherwise healthy and he was released the same day. This time a bit further away, so hopefully he’ll find a little more peace. On this site there are not only 10 gray seals, but also an adult harbour seal.

Some water users around Cornwall’s north coast, particularly in the St Ives Bay area, have been repeatedly harassing Bottlenose Dolphins and other marine life, such as seals, in recent weeks: here.

Early frogspawn in Cornwall already


This video from England is called Common Frogs in the Garden.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Frogs breeding in November due to mild weather

Frogspawn spotted in Cornwall, months before the usual spring spawning time, is earliest sighting in almost a decade

Mild autumn weather has led to frogs breeding five months early, with frogspawn sighted in Cornwall this week. It is the earliest frogspawn recorded in nearly a decade.

The Woodland Trust was alerted to the frogspawn by a National Trust ranger, who had spotted the common frog’s spawn at the North Predannack Downs nature reserve on the Lizard Peninsula.

“This year I first saw frog spawn on 21 November, which is early, but not unheard of in a Cornish context,” said Rachel Holder, the ranger who first spotted the frogspawn. “The gamble of getting ahead in the breeding game must be worth taking, and the risk of a severe cold snap which could freeze the spawn is worth braving,” she said.

Frogspawn [is] usually seen in March across the UK, with the earliest occurrence in recent history being on 26 October, in 2005.

Dr Kate Lewthwaite, project manager for Woodland Trust’s Nature’s Calendar , said: “Although spring is generally arriving earlier, to receive a frogspawn sighting before winter has properly begun is highly unusual.

“Given the reasonably mild weather we have been enjoying recently, it is possible for frogs to be fooled into spawning early, but sadly it is unlikely the spawn will now survive the frosts we are experiencing,” she said.

November has been mild and very wet so far, according to the Met Office, with average temperatures nearly 2C above the long-term average, and 93.1mm of rainfall.

Frogspawn, which has the appearance of a thick translucent jelly with dark specks, often contains 5,000 eggs and is laid at one time. Tadpoles begin to emerge after a month, although early spawn is vulnerable to freezing during the winter months while it floats on the top of the pond. As frogs mate once per season, their breeding effort for the year may be wasted if spawn is laid when the conditions are not right.

Chris Hickman, from the Woodland Trust, told the Guardian that the early UK sightings of frogspawn, “highlights the wider issue that frogs are looking at spawning early, or having to adapt, because climate change is changing the natural environment in England.”

He added, “it’s not something that we’ve had for a long time and we have to establish whether this will be a one off, or maybe there are other frogspawn sightings out there that perhaps people haven’t yet reported.”

Matthew Oates, a naturalist at the National Trust, said he had noticed how climatic changes have affected the seasonal behaviour of species, such as the purple emperor caterpillar not hibernating, and this autumn he has heard the evening chorus of song-thrush and robins singing. The naturalist said that he expects hazel catkins, which traditionally appear mid-January, to bloom before Christmas.

There have been early first sightings of other species in recent years. According to the Woodland Trust, snowdrops which are traditionally out in spring have been sighted early in November and December since 2001. Ladybirds, which historically hibernate during the winter months, were spotted in December every year between 2002 and 2008 and also in 2011.

Good cirl bunting news from Cornwall


This video is about a cirl bunting singing.

From Wildlife Extra:

Cirl Bunting numbers on the rise in Cornwall

Cornwall’s re-introduced population of Cirl Buntings has had its best year yet with 39 pairs producing more than 100 fledglings at the Roseland site. Cirl Bunting numbers have been steadily increasing in Cornwall, since 2006 when the first hand-reared birds were released.

“These are encouraging signs that the population is on its way to becoming self-sustaining, and as the first passerine reintroduction to take place in Europe, the project can be considered a huge success,” said Cath Jeffs, RSPB Cirl Bunting Project Manager.

Next year, it is predicted that the population will exceed the milestone of 50 pairs, which would be a great achievement. The key to the future of this project is ensuring that the right habitat is provided through the delivery of agri-environment schemes. If the habitat is there, the birds will continue to flourish.

“The success of this reintroduction represents a fantastic example of collaborative working. A partnership project, the RSPB works with local farmers along with the National Trust to increase the amount of suitable habitat for the birds, and a farmland advisor works with landowners to secure further habitat for the wider, natural spread of birds through Natural England’s agri-environment schemes,” said Cath Jeffs.

The project has been jointly funded by the RSPB and Natural England, as well as receiving £173,670 from SITA Trust and £5,000 from BBC Wildlife Fund.

Rare birds in Cornwall


This is as red-breasted flycatcher video.

From Rare Bird Network in Britain, on Twitter today:

Cornwall: RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER 2 today at Nanquidno Valley. Also YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER 1.

Rare bees discovered in Cornwall


This video from Britain is called Cornwall Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves.

From Wildlife Extra:

Very rare bees found on new Cornish Bartinney Nature Reserve

Two very rare species of bee have been discovered on the new Bartinney Nature Reserve near Sennen in west Penwith, reports the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

The tormentil nomad bee (Nomada robertjeotiana) is so rare that it is only currently known at one other site in the south west, near Davidstow.

This species uses the nests of another rare bee, the tormentil mining bee (Andrena tarsata), known to only three UK sites and also discovered at Bartinney. Both are moorland species that have undergone a dramatic decline since the 1970s.

This video is called Andrena tarsata bee on tormentil.

Paddy Saunders, the invertebrate expert who discovered both species of bee during a survey for Natural England said: “The tormentil mining bee needs lots and lots of flowering tormentil very near to nest sites, from which to collect pollen to feed their larvae that live in small chambers slightly underground.

“It is unusual to find such big colonies of tormentil mining bee and the Trust’s Bartinney Nature Reserve, with its big drifts of flowering tormentil, is clearly an important site for them.

“The tormentil nomad bee is a ‘cuckoo’ bee that nips into the tomentil mining bee’s nest, where it lays an egg. Once hatched the nomad’s larvae eats all the pollen that the other bee has done all the hard work to collect!

“It needs a big tormentil mining bee colony to sustain a population of the nomad. The fact that Bartinney Nature Reserve supports both these rare bees is very significant.”

Liz Cox, Wild Penwith Project Manager for Cornwall Wildlife Trust said: “Open flower-rich habitats are vital for wildlife, including these bees, and this find highlights the importance of managing Penwith’s moors and downs to ensure such areas are kept open and not lost to invading scrub or bracken.”

“Bartinney Nature Reserve is one of the two reserves that the Trust recently bought thanks to public donations and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and I am sure everyone involved will be thrilled to know that the site is already playing an important role in protecting Penwith’s wildlife!”

Andrew Whitehouse, South West Manager at Buglife said: “Both of these bees have been identified by our South West Bees Project as being in need of conservation action.

“We are encouraged to find that both species have been found at Bartinney, and we hope to work closely with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England to ensure that these nationally important populations thrive.”

To find out more about Bartinney Nature Reserve go here.

Rooks’ intelligence research in Britain


This video is called Rooks at the Tehidy Woods Rookery; in Cornwall.

From Wildlife Extra:

Are rooks one of our most intelligent birds? A survey has just been launched to find out

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) are asking the general public to help them discover just how intelligent rooks are.

Studies done with rooks in the lab have shown that they are extremely intelligent and able to solve complex puzzles using objects and teamwork.

However, apart from their social behaviour, little is known about the behaviour of them in the wild, and especially in gardens.

Anecdotal evidence sugests that rooks can quickly learn to how to unhook feeders in order to drop them on the ground, or how to pull up food dangling by a string with their feet, but the BTO want to know more.

To achieve this the BTO is running a Garden Rook Survey over next six months from 1 July till 31 December.

They will be asking the people to monitor the rooks in their garden and look at their feeding, caching, tolerance, object play, social and vocalisation skills.

Clare Simm, the Garden Rook Survey organiser said, “This is going to be a really exciting survey, learning about what rooks do in gardens across the country.

“We can’t find this out without the public though so if you get rooks in your garden, whether it’s regularly or once in a while, we need your help.”

Click HERE to find out more.

First ever glossy ibis nest on Vlieland island?


This video is called Glossy Ibis at Chapel Amble – Wildlife in Cornwall.

Warden Anke Bruin reports from Vlieland island in the Netherlands about a glossy ibis couple in Kroon’s polders nature reserve.

The normal glossy ibis nesting time, in the Mediterranean, is May-July.

Could this be the first time ever of a glossy ibis nest in the Netherlands? Ms Bruin asks.

In 2012, a glossy ibis couple started to make a nest in the Netherlands, but did not continue.

Glossy ibis nesting attempt in England: here.

Touati, L., Figuerola, J., Alfarhan, A. H., & Samraoui, B. (2015). Distribution patterns of ectoparasites of Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) chicks. Zoology and Ecology 25(1): 46–53. doi:10.1080/21658005.2015.1005447. PDF in ResearchGate.net

Nefla, A., Ouni, R., & Nouira, S. 2012. The Breeding Status of the Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus in the Lebna Dam in Cap Bon, Tunisia. Journal of Life Sciences 6: 776–782. PDF