Monday, May 27, 2013

Wildflower plant survey - Telscombe Tye E-piece

At least once a year we like to carry out a plant survey on Telscombe Tye.

Today we were over on the e-Piece.  In the past this area has usually been surveyed in June/July.  We missed it completely last year because of the wet weather and decided this year to do a survey earlier in the year to catch the earlier flowering plants.

Wildflower plant survey
There are three quadrats we survey on a regular basis down a grassy slope, although the higher two quadrats are pretty overgrown, the lower one usually has more of the indicative chalk grassland flowers.

It never looks much when we start but once you start to look there are more and more plant species.  It's not easy to pick out the ones that only have leaves and no flowers, but hopefully if we come back in June and July, we'll be able to add a few more to the list.

Common twayblade
Excited to see a few orchids - including Common Twayblade - same family just not as striking as some of it's relatives but not one I'd seen before.

There were a few different species outside of our quadrate but in the general area.

We also did a quick sight survey of the area we cleared earlier this year on the Mega Scrub Bash.  Needless to say - plenty of nettles growing in the cleared area but a few wildflowers coming through.

The most distinctive and again not something I'd seen before was the silver leafed, deep maroon flowered Hounds Tongue.

Total plants seen - 39 species.  Confirmation of some species will need to wait until the plants flower (we're not that good, even referring to books).
Cowslip, common milkwort, salad burnet, bramble, scabious sp(?), hawthorn, thistle sp(?) , hairy violet, wild thyme, ribwort plantain, hawkweed sp(?) , creeping buttercup, ladies bedstraw, squinancywort, violet sp(?) , early purple orchid, selfheal, common twayblade, speedwell sp(?) , thyme-leaved speedwell, blackthorn, wild privet, goosegrass, bryony, hawkbit sp(?), vetch sp(?) , agrimony, ragwort, rosebay willow herb, elder, sycamore, cuckoo pint, foxglove(?), nettle, forget-me-not, ground ivy, hounds tongue, hart's tongue fern, mullein.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tadpoles - Arms and legs

Day 77:

One of the tadpoles now has arms as well as legs.  Another has gone skinny now their legs have developed.  Legs are also starting to appear on a couple of the others.
Tadpoles - arms and legs
 Tadpoles get big and fat before their limbs appear and then as the legs develop they slim down.
Tadpole - three different stages
The ones in the pond seem fatter than the indoor tadpoles and today I spotted one with legs, so they're catching up with the indoor ones.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Frogs legs!

Day 71 since they were first laid.

Yes, my little tadpoles are growing up.  They've finally sprouted legs, so it won't be long before they get moved outdoors or I'm likely to go into the spare room one day and find they're hopping around the place.
Tadpoles with legs
This one has the longest legs, a couple of others have leg buds but if their speed of growth is as before, there will be several with visible legs by tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tadpoles - day 65

Not much has been happening over the last few days - they're growing up - filling out and getting larger and longer - not quite on a daily basis.  Although the last few days, they seem to be getting more rounded and around the belly and longer in the body.

Looking a little brutish and starting to get more frog-like.  They get cleaned out and topped up every few days and I've added a couple of snails to keep the tank cleaner.