Monday, 28 February 2011


Just got back from a long weekend to Portugal, we were based at Vilamoura in the Algarve, but we also visited Alentejo and Spain. The weather was glorious, cloudless for much of the time and temperatures in the region of 26'C. From a wildlife point of view there were many hightlights, more fantastic views of Great Bustards from the Castro Verde to Mertola road. We saw a flock of around 50 Black-bellied Sandgrouse at close range, and a Great spotted Cuckoo sitting on a rock eating what looked like a Worm Lizard. Perhaps most pleasing for me was a Bluethroat at Ludo, near Faro.

Bluethroat at Ludo, Ria Formosa and Great Bustards between Castro Verde and Mertola.

White storks near Mertola and Spanish Terrapin

Worm Lizard and Marsh Frog.

Large Psammodromus and Kentish Plover.

Barbary Nut Iris at Felesia beach near Vilamoura and continental race Cormorant at Quinta do Lago.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Bryophytes at Eccleston Mere

Britain is recognised as an internationally important country for bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), which is not surprising given the amount of rain we get. There are lots of species at Eccleston mere, and back in the autumn I started a collection, of which the attached photos are a small selection. In 2010, The British Bryological Society published an excellent new identification guide entitled "Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: A field guide".

Mnium hornum Swan's-neck Thyme Moss and Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus Springy Turf-moss.

Fissidens viridulus Green Pocket-moss and Conocephalum conicum Great Scented Liverwort.

Ulota phyllantha Frizzled Pincushion and Metzgeria furcata Forked Veilwort.

Rhizomnium punctatum Dotted Thyme-moss and Lunularia cruciata Crescent-cup Liverwort.

Atrichum undulatum Common Smoothcap and Kindbergia praelonga Common Feather-moss.

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