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Showing posts from January, 2018

Woorgreens and Crabtree Hill

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Sunday 28th January 2018
I spent the morning in the Forest of Dean on Sunday, with Andy and Mark, at Woorgreens/Crabtree Hill. The Great Grey Shrike showed well, for us and the nearby BBC Winterwatch team, and at one point flew to a perch quite near us. Other birds of note were a nice flock of mainly Lesser Redpolls by the lake with Siskins and Goldfinches, 12 Crossbills (groups of three and 12), singing Mistle Thrushes, and two (a male and a redhead) Goosanders on the lake.

Spiders and Some Birds

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Friday 5th - Thursday 18th January 2018

With the help of the folk on the spider ID Facebook group I have the identification of two Spiders seen in my house recently. A rather dehydrated male False Widow Spider Steatoda nobilis baffled me, I am familiar with females but this one initially struck me as False Widow but the more I looked through the guides the more puzzled I became. The other Spider was a bit more straightforward. I was pretty certain it was a male Lace Weaver, Amaurobius sp. and that given it was in my house it was most likely to be similis. However, when I read that microscopic examination of the genitalia is necessary to separate from similar species, in this case fenestralis, I turned to the experts. Luckily there is a good view of the palps which confirms it as Amaurobius similis
The Great Norther Diver has continued its long stay at Sharpness marina / SARA into the New Year, and I couldn't resist another visit to study it recently on 5th January. Later at WWT…