Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bittern & Water Rail

Recently been trying my hand at bird photography, and been very lucky to get the attached images of two shy birds. The Bittern was at Forest Farm and the first Bittern I'd ever seen, however I have now seen it on two subsequent visits.

The Water Rail was taken at Slimbridge, I'd checked their website the evening before my visit and read that Rails were showing well at a particular hide, and they were right!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bittern at Forest Farm

Not a CNS sighting, but something reported by and photographed by one of our blog followers

There is a nice write up and some excellent pictures on Jeremy Inglis's photo blog


Monday, March 12, 2012

Effects of Autochthonous and Allochthonous Primary Production on the Diversity of Invertebrate Feeding Guilds in a River Ecosystem

We are pleased to be able to tell you that the Cardiff Naturalists' Bioscience prize awarded at Cardiff University in honour of Professor Ursula Henriques the 2012 Prize has been awarded to Zigmunds Orlovskis.  Zigmunds is a student from Latvia, and he is an outstanding recipient of the prize.  He was awarded the top mark for his field course report.

Zigmunds being presented with the cheque and certificate by 
Chris Franks, President of the Society

Zigmunds went on a freshwater biology fieldcourse to France.  His project was entitled "Effects of Autochthonous and Allochthonous Primary Production on the Diversity of Invertebrate Feeding Guilds in a River Ecosystem", although he came up with a more user friendly title for the CNS talk!

Zigmunds in very keen on Natural History and has been on a Cardiff Naturalists' outing! which we are very pleased to hear because this prize is intended to encourage the widest possible interest in the natural world and also build a relationship with the student body

After  the presentation he entertained the members with a fascinating presentation with some excellent information, pictures and videos. Once again a real credit to the quality of work that can be produced by a person with real enthusiasm for his subject

Full Details of the award and information about Professor Henriques can be found Here

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frogs and Toads

Feb. 16th:  Frogs spawning in our pond.  Saw about 24 frogs and 22 blobs of frogspawn.  The next day I counted 32 blobs.

Feb. 26th:  Attempted another count and found at least 110 blobs.

March 3rd:  Spawn very difficult to see by this time but at least 120 blobs.  Thought I saw a few frogs still spawning but on closer inspection found they were toads - at least 20 and numerous strings of toadspawn.  There were toads crawling and mating all over the place, the smaller males clinging to the backs of the females while other males tried to dislodge them.  The strings were impossible to count, wrapped as they were around pond plants.

March 5th:  More toads spawning.  Counted 6 pairs mating and a couple of lonely males!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Parasites of The Eurasian Otter

Ellie Sherrard-Smith gave us a fascinating insight into the parasites that effect Otters and what they can tell us about their lives and distribution patterns, Not one for the squeamish tonight with some views if lice being a bit closer than I like to be where they are concerned, but fascinating all the same

This was another presentation from the excellent work that is being done by the Cardiff Otter project team and

Mary Gillham at the Botanic Gardens

Dr Mary Gillham receiving due recognition for her lifetimes work in the field of botany on International Women's Day at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales from the Director, Dr Rosie Plummer.

Featured alone

And with Mike Dean, Secretary of the CNS who joined her for the event along with Chris Franks our president

Mary has of course a long pedigree of Welsh Studies with a First Class Honours Degree in Agriculture in the then University College of Wales, Aberystwyth 1949. PhD from Bangor on the effects of seabirds on the vegetation of islands based on research carried out on the islands off the Pembroke coast

She then went off lecturing in such places as Exeter and Australia before returning to the then University College, Cardiff: Department of Extra Mural Studies

She was among 12 other Welsh Women Botanists to be similarly recognised.
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