Tuesday 7 June 2016

Travel Twitching for 30 days Wild

The 30 Days Wild campaign is great for encouraging you to pay attention to the nature that is all around, even in the middle of town and whatever you're doing.

Travel Twitching is a Twitter based project that encourages people to note the wildlife (specially birds) that they see when they're travelling. I love birdwatching from trains and buses, recently I've seen more swifts from the top deck of Edinburgh buses than I've seen from our own living room window (which is a sad comment on the slow decline of swifts in the area immediately round where we live).

Today I used my bus journey to Corstorphine for a bit of travel twitching. The Corstorphine Road is good for watching nature as it passes by Corstorphine Hill, the Water of Leith and lots of nice gardens. I didn't see many birds, mostly herring gulls flying by.

However at the bus stop I spent time watching a hoverfly, it looked like a species of Syrphus hoverfly, which are notoriously difficult to identify to species level. To make it even more difficult in this case, the photos I took came out so blurred they're useless.... It's probably fair to guess it was a Syrphus ribesi. I enjoyed watching it as it sunbathed then hovered to another, higher leaf where it carried on sunbathing.

I find hoverflies totally fascinating! They mimic other insects (particularly bees or wasps) and they offer a good identification challenge, without (in the most part) being too difficult. There are about 270 species of hoverflies in the UK! If you want to find out more, then the Microscopy UK website has some excellent information and photos of hoverflies. The Hoverfly UK website also has some excellent resources. Also very useful is the Hoverfly photos website.


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

my macro shots are never very good, my fault rather than the camera.

Naquillity said...

along my walking route today I saw 4 maybe 5 cardinals (red bird) and two turkey vultures, an eastern box turtle, chipmunk and a dragonfly. I also saw some butterflies, different varieties. sorry for the loss of swifts around your home. it's always sad to see the decline in nature & wildlife...

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Simon, yes I find macro shots very tricky, though sometimes they work!

Naquillity - I'd love to see cardinals!

Sandy said...

Hey, this is something that I have always done. It is amazing what can be seen even in a busy city.