Baby Frogs !!!

A few summers ago I spent a while watching and filming baby frogs in my mums pond in Plymouth. In the afternoon prehaps the hottest time of the day, I observed the frogs sitting on the pond lilly pads and preying on the Aphids wandering around. What I thought was amazing was the fact that they barely ever moved an inch and literally sat in wait for a completely unsuspecting Aphid to walk past and before you knew it the Frog had engulfed the Aphid in one! I thought this behaviour was pretty amazing so I set my camera up on a tripod to capture it. Amongst a misfit cast watch this baby frog devor an unsuspecting Aphid below :

Im trying to get more into filming now so watch this space for more videos coming this way and I do apologise for the amateur looking credits as I just wanted to practice my non-existant after effects skills!

Natural Devon Photography Comp Runner up

Last month I was fortunate to come runner up in a local photography competition organised by Natural Devon to raise awareness of the importance of local pollinating insects.  This is a very important subject at the moment  as many Bee species in the UK are in decline and without these pollinators it will be much harder to pollinate crops such as Oilseed rape and Strawberries. However, not all pollinators are Bees and I decided to enter this picture of  a Daggerfly (Empididae). I took the picture on the cliffs of Wembury and you can clearly see a couple of different varieties of pollen that it has picked up along its journey from flower to flower.
Thanks to Natural Devon Local Natural partnership, I am now in possesion of a large bag of wild flower seeds which was my runner up prize.

Wild flower seeds, DLNP

This bag contains 28 species of  wild flowers and 12 species of  wild grass which should encourage pollinators to return. When the weather is milder I shall plant the seeds and monitor the progress of the plants and the wildlife they attract and keep updating my Blog with the pictures of the new arrivals. Let’s see who turns up???

Check out Devon Local Nature Partnerships website here :   http://www.naturaldevon.org.uk/ for more information about how you can help pollinators in Devon.

Ibiza excursion

A few weeks ago I went on a family holiday to Ibiza. A wonderful island which suprised me in its beauty and diversity. Admist the pool, snorkelling in the clear seas, and helping myself to the all inclusive Cuba Libres I managed to make time to take a walk in the local gardens and surrounding countryside to look for subjects to photograph.

At first it was hard to spot any insects . I barely saw any bees (I know there are many) and apart form the constant humming of Cicadas in the trees which instantaneously turned off as you approached I was a little disappointed with what I found. I’m sure this is not a true reflection of the amazing wildlife on the island as I didnt have much time to look but here are a few of pictures of what I did find on closer inspection.

A female Wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi). This spider was huge and looked very ominous.
A female Wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi). This spider was huge and looked very ominous.
Dead rat Ibiza
As I was taking a photo of the Wasp Spider this rat literaly ran to my feet and proceeded to die! It was a horrible site and made me wonder wether or not it had been bitten by a snake although I suppose it was poisened by the local staff (either rat posion or their cocktails!)
Ibiza shells
Many of these beautiful snails adorned the plants on nearby walks
European turtle dove Ibiza
I loved the patterns on these European Turtle Doves (Streptopelia Turtur). These guys are listed as vulnerable under the IUCN redlist.
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I saw a few Dragonflies one of which was green and huge!! the biggest one I have ever seen. Probably three times bigger than this red-veined darter (Sympetrum Fonscolombii) I spotted on a branch over a water tank.

Ibiza grasshopper

Ibiza Grasshopper
These Grasshoppers were unbelievably well camouflaged against the arid and dry red dirt of the cliff edges. I would not of even noticed them if they didnt jump away as we approached!
ibiza reef
The reefs surrounding the hotel were quite nice too. I did alot of snorkelling and some diving and saw a lot of fish and 3 octopuses over the week I was there. Sorry for the lack of photos of fish! I need to get my hands on some water housing but its out of my budget!)
Pink jellyfish (Pelagia Noctiluca) , Gopro, Ibiza.
Go Pro picture of a Pink Jellyfish (Pelagia Noctiluca)
Pink jellyfish (Pelagia Noctiluca)
These guys apparently cause quite a painful sting so I kept my distance.
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Lastly and not least these Ibiza Wall Lizards were everywhere. The iconic symbol of Ibiza these Lizards have many different colour varations.
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Although they have no major threats and are not in decline because its total area of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2. The Iucn have listed the Ibiza Wall Lizard as near threatened. Here is the common green markings on the Lizards

Although I did not spend much time with my camera I did see a lot more wildlife. Perhaps next time if I visit it would be nice to explore the national park forests inland. I thoroughly recommend visiting Ibiza it is beautiful not just the club life as seen on television.