Welcome to the naturalist's shack - a place to store a few pictures and links on local and global habitats from a personal perspective.
Savegre lies in one of Costa Rica's mountainous areas, on the slopes of the Talamanca mountain range (Cordillera de Talamanca). I stayed for a couple of days in this private reserve, looking at (mainly) birds found here, at elevations between about 2,000m and 2,500m.
This area is known as montane rain forest in the Holdridge life zones system. Forests at this elevation are often (as here) subject to low-level cloud cover for at least part of the year and are also known as cloud forests.
New Mills Natural History Society walk along a limestone dale on the 11th June
We started our walk at Upper Dale, and made a gradual ascent on a stony bridle track to Brushfields Hough, returning through woodland into Monsal Dale, to return along a short stretch of the Monsal Trail.
On the way we saw some excellent examples of limestone flora, as well as a couple of day flying moths.
We saw the common spotted orchid in a species rich neutral grassland that we passed on the way up. The bee orchids were seen in the calcareous grassland at the top of the daleside.
With travel restricted, walks locally have given me the chance to become better aquainted with wildlife within a short distance from home.
A few birds, some common, others less so. Canada geese (Branta canadensis) can be seen in most places with water in New Mills, such as the Peak Forest canal and the Goyt Valley. The house sparrow (Passer domesticus), although a familiar bird, has declined in the UK, numbers falling to nearly half of mid '70's population. The goosander (Mergus merganser) is a fishing duck, having a long, sawlike bill.
A study of a heron in New Mills, in pictures and video
I've been thinking a lot about microscopes for naturalists lately.
Especially when first exploring wildlife in close up, a good low to medium power stereomicroscope is hard to beat. Useful magnifications are about x7 - x40 (or greater). Most stereo microscopes offer more than one magnification, either in set steps, or as a zoom. From a naturalist's point of view, this type of microscope is useful for examining insects and other mini-beasts, looking at fine details of plants (including mosses) and examining bone and other remains, for instance in owl pellets.
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