Barrel jellyfish coming back to Dorset, England


This video says about itself:

Swimming with a giant Barrel Jellyfish

23 June 2014

This Barrel Jellyfish (Rhizostoma pullmo) was filmed in the Percuil Estuary, near St Mawes, Cornwall. Large numbers of these, the UK’s largest jellyfish species have been seen this year around our coast. They are totally harmless and feed on plankton. They do have stinging cells but they are not able to get through human skin. They can grow to 80cm wide and weigh up to 30 kilos!

From the Dorset Echo in England today:

Warmer weather sees return of the barrel jellyfish to Dorset shores

by Tara Cox, Reporter

APRIL has seen the return of the barrel jellyfish in Dorset due to warmer weather – and experts warn there could be more sightings to come.

Barrel jellyfish, which can grow up to one metre wide, have been spotted in Weymouth Bay and Lyme Bay in recent weeks.

And the Dorset Wildlife Trust claim that during the spring and summer, we could expect to see up to eight different species of jellyfish along the Dorset coast.

Last year, more and more sightings of the sea creatures were reported after members of the public spotted them both in the ocean and washed up on beaches in Weymouth, Portland and West Dorset.

Barrel jellyfish can grow up to one metre wide.

These particular jellyfish do not sting, but the trust is advising members of the public not to touch any jellyfish they find washed up and to report them to the trust to identify and record.

Emma Rance, DWT marine conservation officer, said: “These oceanic drifters can change in shape, colour and size when they are beached.

“We would encourage people to look but not touch and keep their animals away from the jellyfish, because many jellyfish can still sting when dead.

“It’s very likely that we’re going to get more reports of jellyfish due to warmer weather. Barrel jellyfish feed on zooplankton – tiny animals floating in the water – which have increased due to longer days with more sunlight.”

The trust also said that the leatherback turtle and oceanic sunfish feed on jellyfish, so there could also be a possibility of seeing both of these species in Dorset.

Steve Trewhella, a professional wildlife photographer and environmental campaigner, said he was surprised to hear of jellyfish sightings on Portland and Chesil Beach as early as this in the year.

Broadwindsor resident and freelance writer Sophia Moseley spotted a barrel jellyfish on Lyme Regis beach near the iconic Cobb last Friday.

She said: “I took my two children down to the beach for fish and chips and was quite surprised to see it so early in the year.

“The jellyfish was 20 inches in diameter. It’s a worry that they are populating our seashore but there isn’t much we can do about it.”

Sophia tweeted a picture of the jellyfish to the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and said she would encourage others to do the same.

People who see a jellyfish are encouraged to take a photo and report it to the DWT via their Facebook page at facebook.com/dorsetwildlife.

Alternatively, any sighting photos can be tweeted to @DorsetWildlife.

Smooth newt males ready for mating season


This video from England says about itself:

9 April 2013

I’ve finally set out herping. With all this cold weather we’ve been having I thought I would never see the day. But I turned out to have great success in Dorset. I found lots of newts, lots of lizards, and lots of snakes. This video shows you the two species of newt which I found on my trip: the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), and the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus). Which turns out to be a new species for me. I also encountered some Italian crested newts along the way but was unable to get some footage. :( Maybe next time…

On 3 January 2014, Dutch RAVON herpetologists investigated amphibians in Aamsveen nature reserve in Overijssel province.

They found two male smooth newts, already in full spring mating season colours, waiting for females.

One should hope for them that the winter, relatively mild so far, will not become harsher.

Italian crested newts in the Netherlands: here.

Bird news from Dorset, England


This is a red-throated diver video from Sweden.

A message on Twitter today from Portland Bill in Dorset, England:

Portland Bill: 08:30-10:15 R[ed-]t[hroated] Diver 3, Great Bustard 3, Purple Sand[piper] 1, Turnstone 3, Med[iterranean] Gull 1, Black Redstart 1, Stonechat 1 – 30 sp[ecies] (good)

Biggest spoonbill flock ever seen in Britain


This video from Azerbaijan is called Eurasian spoonbill.

From Wildlife Extra:

Dorset records largest flock of spoonbills ever seen in Britain

The largest flock of spoonbills ever to be seen in Britain was sighted on the Brownsea Island Lagoon of Dorset last month.

The spoonbill is still rare in the UK, and is listed as Amber status of European conservation concern.

“To have 47 spoonbill in the harbour is a fantastic sight, and goes to show how successful their breeding colonies are doing elsewhere,” says Paul Morton from charity Birds of Poole Harbour.

“After looking at their colouring and from previous years’ data, we suspect they have come from Holland or Belgium. For around 50 years Poole Harbour has only ever had two to three spoonbills during the winter, but this last decade has seen numbers grow year on year as youngsters follow their parents back to their wintering quarters.”

Birdlife appears to be doing well at Brownsea, with 650 Black-tailed Godwits, 1,000 Oystercatchers, and 390 Avocets seen on the Lagoon last month. Numbers of migrating birds in the reserve are predicted to rise in their thousands.

“Every year we are amazed at the sheer number of migrating birds that visit the Brownsea Lagoon,” says Chris Thain, Brownsea Island Reserve Manager for Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT).

“We are absolutely delighted to see so many spoonbills this year, which is a real treat. It’s a unique sight, which is best seen from the DWT hides for a really up-close view.”

For those unable to visit Brownsea to see the action, you can visit the reserve virtually via webcam at www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/webcam.

Bird report from Dorset, Britain


This video is called Winter birds at Long Rock, Swalecliffe – Kent, UK.

Debby Saunders from Weymouth, Dorset in England reports in a Twitter message today:

2 Yel[low] Wag[tails], 3 Com[mon] Sand[pipers], 5 C[ur]’lew, 3 S[an]d[er]’ling, R[ed]’shank, Bar[-tailed god]wit, 2 L[ittle] R[inged] P[lover], 18 T[urn]’stone, 7 Swift, S[and]d Martin, 2 Sp[arrow]’hawk→S[outh], lots Swallow.