Stitched panorama (using Hugin) of Stickle Tarn in the Lake District. A tarn is a mountain lake or pool formed by glacial activity and there are plenty to be found in the Lake District fells! It was a hot day, so a swim in the tarn was impossible to resist!
Our very own Richard Shucksmith became British Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 today. The image was also the category winner for Coast and Marine.
Richard said, “living on a boat the M/V Halton and diving some of the remote islands off the west coast of Scotland is an exhilarating experience. Sula Sgeir, meaning gannet rock, is 41 miles north of the Butt of Lewis. These wild and exposed islands provide habitat for an astounding variety and abundance of marine life. Places like these feel all the more special because, although remote and difficult to get to, they are a part of our heritage.”
Great news this from Ben Rawson (Conservation International) about gibbons in Vietnam. Gibbons are incredible animals and all species are threatened across their range. I was lucky enough to assist Ben in the field while he was conducting his PhD research on yellow-cheeked gibbons and black-shanked douc langurs in Cambodia. I’ll never forget the experience of hearing their loud and beautiful duet songs.
I heard Bornean gibbons daily during my recent visit to Danau Girang Field Centre in Sabah, Borneo, but never managed to see one. Hopefully next year….
I have just got back from two weeks in Sabah, Malaysia (north east part of Borneo), where I was helping to run a Cardiff University field course on Tropical Biodiversity. Cardiff University runs the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), located by the Kinabatangan River.
Despite a great reduction in the area of Sabah covered by rainforest due to logging and conversion to oil palm plantations, the area is still rich in biodiversity. My role was to run the bird mist netting and supervise student projects on birds. We caught many beautiful birds, but most impressive was probably the black-and-red broadbill:
A 4 m long saltwater crocodile was radio-collared by DGFC, and is providing novel information on the ranging behaviour of these awesome reptiles:
The forest around Kinabatangan also hosts an impressive array of reptiles and amphibians. Many are nocturnal, but green tree lizards could be seen climbing high up into the trees in the day time. I came across this individual on the ground:
There were an extraordinary number of primates in the riparian forests, most easily seen by boat. I have never been anywhere with such sheer quantities of monkeys and apes. Proboscis monkeys have to be one of the strangest looking monkeys in the world. This is a bachelor male, who carried on stuffing himself with leaves while we looked on:
I am already looking forward to next year’s field course!
While photographing Fair Isle wrens at the beach yesterday morning, I captured this levitating northern wheatear! He’s got a beakfull of ispods to feed to his nestlings hiding in a hole nearby (which I also ringed yesterday for my wheatear project).
One of the wheatears myself and Ruth colour ringed in Greenland last year was spotted and photographed this morning by Mads at the Arctic Station. Outi has put an entry on the Arctic Station blog. Unfortunately it isn’t one that we put a geolocator on, but I wouldn’t expect those back yet as they were all younger birds.
The bird seen this morning is male 9Z35822, now in his third year (aged last year as fledged in 2009). He was greeted by, well, Arctic conditions – snow and ice. Just illustrates the difficulties that long-distance migrants have in timing their migration so that they arrive early enough to get good territories and rear chicks when food is abundant, but not so early that they can’t find enough for themselves.