Thursday, 2 October 2014

Week 64: Marsh Orchids ('Dactylorhiza')

Marsh Orchids were @SpeciesofUK from 9th to 15th June, 2014.

Marsh orchids or spotted orchids are the orchids that make up the genus Dactylorhiza.[1]

Marsh Orchid
[Wikimedia Commons © Orchi]

A number of marsh orchid species are common in different parts of the UK. They are notoriously different to identify due to their propensity to hybridise.[2]

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Week 63: Roe Deer ('Capreolus capreolus')

The Roe Deer was @SpeciesofUK from 2nd to 8th June, 2014.

The roe deer is a native UK deer species that nearly become extinct here in the eighteenth century.[1] They are known for their distinctive three-tined antlers.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Week 62: Common Blue Damselfly ('Enallagma cyathigerum')

The Common Blue Damselfly was @SpeciesofUK from 27th May to 1st June, 2014.

The common blue is a small and brightly coloured damselfly that is common throughout Europe and the British Isles.[1]

Common Blue Damselfly
[Flickr Creative Commons © Rushen]

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Week 61: Flax ('Linum usitatissimum')

Flax was @SpeciesofUK from 19th to 26th May, 2014.

Flax is a food and fibre crop cultivated throughout the cooler regions of the world. It is known for its very distinctive blue flowers.[1]

Friday, 29 August 2014

Week 60: Treecreeper ('Certhia familiaris')

The Treecreeper was @SpeciesofUK from 12th to 18th May, 2014.

The treecreeper is a wonderful, active little bird that, as its name suggests, lives in trees. It's notable for its foraging habits and slender curved bill.

[Flickr Creative Commons © gynti_46]

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Week 59: Pipistrelle bats ('Pipistrellus')

Pipistrelle Bats were @SpeciesofUK from 21st to 27th April, 2014.

The pipistrelles are the UK’s most widespread and abundant, and also our smallest, bats.[1]

Common Pipistrelle
[Flickr Creative Commons © Gilles San Martin]

Friday, 22 August 2014

Week 58: Wild Cherry ('Prunus avium')

Wild Cherry was @SpeciesofUK from 14th to 20th April, 2014.

The wild cherry is one of our native UK trees. It is known for its beautiful flower blossoms and edible ripe fruits.

Wild Cherry in Flower
[Wikimedia Commons © BenHur]

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Week 57: Small White Butterfly (‘Pieris rapae’)

The Small White Butterfly was @SpeciesofUK from 7th to 13th April, 2014.

The small white is one of the butterflies (alongside the large white) that we sometimes call a 'cabbage white.'[1] It is one of the most widespread butterflies in the UK.[2]

Small White Butterfly
[Wikimedia Commons © James Lindsey]

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Week 56: Willow Warbler ('Phylloscopus trochilus')

The Willow Warbler was @SpeciesofUK from 31st March to 6th April, 2014.

Willow Warblers are slim, delicate birds of woodland, scrub, parks and gardens.[1]

Willow Warbler
[Flickr Creative Commons © Muchaxo]

They migrate to the UK for the summer from southern Africa.[2] 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Week 55: Wood Forget-me-not (‘Myosotis sylvatica’)

The Wood Forget-me-not was @SpeciesofUK from 24th to 30th March, 2014.

Forget-me-nots are flowering plants from the Myosotis genus. There are about two hundred species in all.[1]

In the UK, the name forget-me-not most often refers to Myosotis sylvatica, the 'wood forget-me-not'.[2]

Wood Forget-me-not
[Flickr Creative Commons © Joshua Mayer]

Monday, 30 June 2014

Week 54: Miner Bees (‘Andrena’)

Miner Bees were @SpeciesofUK from 17th to 23rd March, 2014.

‘Miner bees’ or ‘sand bees’ make up the genus Andrena. There are over 1,300 species worldwide of which around sixty live in the UK, making it one of the largest bee genera.[1]

Miner Bee
[Wikimedia Commons © Jeffdelonge]

Miner bees get their name from their habit of digging nest burrows in sandy soil, in which their prepupae spend the winter.[2] 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Week 53: Sparrowhawk ('Accipiter nisus')

The Sparrowhawk was @SpeciesofUK from 10th to 16th March, 2014.

The UK's sparrowhawk is also known the 'northern sparrowhawk' or 'Eurasian sparrowhawk' to distinguish it from other sparrowhawks.[1]

[Flickr Creative Commons © Philippe Garcelon]

It is a small raptor with short rounded wings and long legs.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Week 52: Deadnettle ('Lamium')

Deadnettles were @SpeciesofUK from 24th February to 2nd March, 2014.

Deadnettles are forty to fifty species of herbaceous plants that make up the genus Lamium.[1]

Red Deadnettle, Lamium purpureum
[Flickr Creative Commons © Gertrud K]

The UK has a number of deadnettle species growing wild. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Week 51: Glistening Inkcap ('Coprinellus micaceus')

The Glistening Inkcap was @SpeciesofUK from 17th to 23rd February, 2014.

The glistening inkcap is a fungus that is often found growing around dead wood. It used to be known as ‘mica’ inkcap on account of the tiny granules that glisten on the surface of immature specimens.[1]

Glistening Inkcap
[Flickr Creative Commons ©  Donald Hobern]

Glistening inkcap is extremely widespread. It's common in Europe and North America and also most parts of Asia, South America and Australia.[2]

Monday, 12 May 2014

Week 50: European Conger Eel (‘Conger conger’)

The European Conger was @SpeciesofUK from 10th to 16th February, 2014.

The European conger is a large species of eel that is common and widespread round the UK and Irish coasts.[1]

European Conger
[Flickr Creative Commons © Frank Gloystein]

Congers are long, powerful and renowned as being fearsome predators.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Week 49: Lesser Celandine ('Ranunculus ficaria')

The Lesser Celandine was @SpeciesofUK from 3rd to 9th February, 2014.

Lesser celandine is a perennial member of the buttercup family. It is native to Europe and western Asia and has become invasive in North America.[1]

Lesser Celandine
[Flickr Creative Commons © Steve Chilton]

In the UK, lesser celandine is widespread in woods, hedgerows and on the banks of streams, and can also be found in gardens where it is considered a weed.[2] 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Week 48: Barnacle Goose ('Branta leucopsis')

The Barnacle Goose was @SpeciesofUK from 27th January to 2nd February, 2014.

Barnacle geese are medium-sized geese with a distinctive white face and belly, and black head, neck and breast.[1]

Barnacle Goose
[Wikimedia Commons © Ludovic Péron]

They are Arctic geese that come to the UK for winter and congregate in spectacular fashion. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Week 47: Sea Slugs ('Nudibranch')

Sea Slugs were @SpeciesofUK from 20th to 26th January, 2014.
Sea slug is a common name given to thousands of marine gastropod molluscs that lack external shells.[1] They are related to our familiar land-dwelling slugs and snails.

Polycera quadrilineata
[Flickr Creative Commons © Frank Gloystein]

The main grouping of sea slugs is the so-called ‘nudibranchs’.[2] It is these that form the subject of this post. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Week 46: Hazel (‘Corylus avellana’)

Hazel was @SpeciesofUK from 13th to 19th January, 2014.

Hazel is a common tree traditionally used in the UK in hedgerow field boundaries. It is famous for its spring catkins, and its hazelnuts!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Week 45: Common Frog (‘Rana temporaria’)

The Common Frog was @SpeciesofUK from 6th to 12th January, 2013.

The common frog is one of the UK’s native amphibians and is very widespread.

Common Frog
[Flickr Creative Commons ©  Isfugl]

Monday, 17 March 2014

Week 44: Snow Bunting ('Plectrophenax nivalis')

The Snow Bunting was @SpeciesofUK from 23rd December 2013 to 5th January 2014.

Snow buntings are small birds that breed mainly in the Arctic and migrate south in the winter.[1]

Snow Bunting
[Flickr Creative Commons © foxypar4]

In the UK, we have a large wintering population of snow buntings and we are also lucky enough to have a small summer breeding population, in the Cairngorms of Scotland.[2] Snow buntings have been described as “possibly the most romantic and elusive bird in the British Isles.”[3]

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Week 43: Blackthorn (‘Prunus spinosa’)

Blackthorn was @SpeciesofUK from 9th to 22nd December, 2013.

The blackthorn is a small deciduous tree native to the UK and indeed most of Europe.[1] It is known for its blue-black fruits called ‘sloes.’

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Week 42: December Moth ('Poecilocampa populi')

The December Moth was @SpeciesofUK from 18th November to 8th December, 2013.

The December moth is a fairly common species of moth found across the UK.[1]

December Moth
[Wikimedia Commons © Walter Schön]

The flight time of the December moth, as its name suggests, is late in the year. It can be found from late October to December.[2]

Week 41: Chub (‘Squalius cephalus’)

The Chub was @SpeciesofUK from 4th to 17th November, 2013.

Squalius cephalus, the European Chub, or ‘chub’ for short, is a freshwater fish from the carp family.[1]

[Wikimedia Commons © Karelj]

Chub are popular with UK anglers who consider them to be one of the wiliest of our fish.[2]

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Week 40: Chickweed (‘Stellaria media’)

Chickweed was @SpeciesofUK from 28th October to 3rd November, 2013.

Common chickweed, Stellaria media, is one of the UK's commonest weeds.

[Flickr Creative Commons © David Illig]

It is an ephemeral species requiring only around thirteen weeks to flower and set seed. It can appear throughout the year.[1]

Friday, 14 February 2014

Week 39: Wood Mouse (‘Apodemus sylvaticus’)

The Wood Mouse was @SpeciesofUK from 21st to 27th October, 2013.

The wood mouse is a rodent from the Muridae family (mice, rats and gerbils). Muridae is the largest mammal family in the world, containing over 700 species.[1]

Wood Mouse
[Flickr Creative Commons © Isfugl]

The wood mouse can be found across Europe from Iceland to Ukraine. It's also native to the northern coast of Africa in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.[2] 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Week 38: Dunlin (‘Calidris alpina’)

The Dunlin was @SpeciesofUK from 14th to 20th October, 2013.

Dunlins are waders that form massive winter flocks in the UK. They are known for the black bellies they develop in their distinctive breeding plumage.

[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © talis qualis]

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Week 37: Wormwood (‘Artemisia absinthium’)

Wormwood was @SpeciesofUK from 30th September to 13th October, 2013.

Wormwood is a herbaceous plant known for its medicinal uses and powerful essential oils.

[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © anticlimax]

It’s famous as one of the main constituent herbs in the spirit Absinthe.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Week 36: Ragworms (‘Nereididae’)

Ragworms were @SpeciesofUK from 23rd to 29th September, 2013.

'Ragworms' are a group of about five hundred species worldwide that make up the Nereididae family, split into forty-two genera. They are mostly found in marine environments.[1]

A King Ragworm
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © bathyporeia]

Ragworms are found in abundance in UK estuaries and along sandy or muddy shorelines, where they live in U- or J-shaped burrows up to 20cm deep.[2]

Friday, 24 January 2014

Week 35: Great Tit (‘Parus major’)

The Great Tit was @SpeciesofUK from 16th to 22nd September, 2013.

The great tit is a member of the tit family Paridae, which are known in North America as the ‘titmice’ and ‘chickadees.’[1]

Great Tit
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © Paul Gulliver]

Tits can be found right across the northern hemisphere and Africa.[2] The great tit has one of the widest ranges of all tits. It’s found as far east as China and as far west as Ireland and Morocco.[3]

Friday, 17 January 2014

Week 34: Rosebay Willowherb (‘Chamerion angustifolium’)

Rosebay Willowherb was @SpeciesofUK from 9st to 15th September, 2013.

Rosebay willowherb is easily recognisable from its tall, pink flower spikes crowding in thick stands in open spaces like verges and waste ground.[1]

Rosebay Willowherb
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © Anita363]

It is a member of the Onagraceae family, which includes the willowherbs, evening primroses and fuchsias. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Week 33: Grey Partridge (‘Perdix perdix’)

The grey partridge was @SpeciesofUK from 1st to 8th September, 2013.

The grey partridge the UK’s native partridge. It is medium-sized, plump, with a distinctive orange face.[1]

Grey Partridge
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © Langham Birder]

It is usually classed as a game bird. 'Game' basically refers to an animal that is hunted for food (or sometimes for sport).[2]

Monday, 13 January 2014

Week 32: Bottlenose Dolphin (‘Tursiops truncatus’)

The bottlenose dolphin was @SpeciesofUK from 14th to 31st August, 2013.

Bottlenose dolphins are one of the most widespread mammals in the world. They can be found in every ocean, with the exception of polar waters.[1]

There are two species of bottlenose dolphin, the ‘common’ bottlenose and the ‘the Indo-Pacific’ bottlenose. The common bottlenose dolphin is native to the UK and is the subject of this blog.[2]

Bottlenose Dolphin
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © Javier Corbo]

Monday, 6 January 2014

Week 31: Bramble (‘Rubus fruticosus’)

The Bramble was @SpeciesofUK from 4th to 17th August, 2013.

The bramble is a common deciduous shrub native to the UK. It's found all over from woodlands to wasteland to dunes.[1]

The Bramble
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © bbusschots]

If you don't know the bramble you'll definitely know its fruit, the scrumptious blackberry.