Wildlife Blog

Nemophora cupriacella a new record for Breconshire by Graham Watkeys

The Rare Beasts of Taf Fechan

Animals (and plants for that matter) don’t know (or particularly care) where they are “supposed” to be. They don’t read species lists or look at old maps they just live where they are able to live and everything has to live somewhere (this highlights somewhat the importance of habitat diversity and conservation but that’s another argument). This stubborn biological refusal to be entirely and completely predictable makes getting out in the countryside and looking at wildlife such a rewarding experience because you never really know what you are going to find.…
The Good, The Bad and The Slimy

The Good, The Bad and The Slimy

Something sinister is lurking in the undergrowth at our Coed Y Bwl reserve in the Vale of Glamorgan. Oozing along the woodland floor are a range of Myxomycetes commonly refered to as Slime Moulds. Not plant, not animal, not fungi. They are capable of locomotion and finding thier way through a maze! Dog Vomit Slime Mould by Mike Bright They feed by engulfing bacteria and organic matter, a mini version of ‘The Blob’. Usually they go unnoticed until they produce a fruiting body which can be very colouful.…
Taphrina alni sample by Mike Bright

Alder Tongue

Rudi and I recently went for a wander around Parc Slip hoping to find signs of a little known fungi, Taphrina which is a genus of parasitic Ascomycota that cause intriguing galls in their host plants. Witches Broom (Taphrina betulina) is the largest and most familiar species inducing dense twig-like formations on Birch’s which are the host tree, these sometimes reach the size and shape of a squirrels drey (they are most conspicuous on leafless trees in winter). Pocket Plum (Taphrina pruni) affects Blackthorn and causes the fruits (Sloes) to become green and runner bean-like in appearance.…