Friday, May 19, 2006

Blackbirds, Robert Marsham, and Ladybirds

Across northern England.I woke up to the doors rattling, and gusts blowing across the house.When i opened the door it was howling.I went outside to check nothing lightweight had been flung around.All my loosepots are secure under the Barbeque.The only flagging plants were the potted Anemones who tree like foliage had been ripped.They looked punch drunk like Rocky in the films.
I checked the weather.Westerly wind, seventeen miles per hour, but the gusts are stronger i think.I found some cool websites and joined a nature one for reporting the first ladybird, shrub, flowers etc.
http://www.phenology.org.uk/
They record stuff and compare it to previous years records to see if global warming is effectingthe life cycle of plants, insects, shrubs, flowers, trees,amphibians, and buterflies.
Each thing has its own group to record the first sightings.The members post the date and postcode.
I looked at my blog for the first date I saw a ladybird.April 13th.The journal aspect of blogging helped me remember that.
Another website monitors british butterflies: http://www.ukbms.org/default.htm
I found the British wildflower society which I will join when my financial nightmare abates in a few weeks:
http://www.thewildflowersociety.com/index.htm

Phenology works with botanist, gardeners, wild flower enthusiasts etc by using the members as a resource to collect data.Even the Government uses the plotted graphs and numbers to evaluate climatic change on traditional British flora and Fauna.
I wander if other countries are using people to collect data for climate change.The USA is so huge and the landscapes so different i guess it might be a state wide tool.Although most states are bigger than the whole of the UK!
I had a visitor today.A juvenile blackbird who hopped around the cut grass feasting on insects.He was smaller than normal blacbird with an orange beak.
I want to join the RSPB or royal society for the protection of birds: http://www.rspb.org.uk/
I would love to be able to identify the birds common to my garden and surrounding area, and to photograph them.
The same goes for wildflowers which i love trying to identify, and even butterflies.Its amazing how much you can see in your own backyard without travelling miles.
Robert Marsham was an englishman who first wrote down the signs of spring in 1736 in Norfolk.He religeously documented the dates for birds arriving, and leafing buds for 62 years.
270 years later his work is being continued by tens of thousands of nature lovers all over the UK, from Plymouth all the way to the Shetland Isles!

2 comments:

Sigrun said...

Snappy, if you want, I can send you some seeds from this blue Aquilegia in September. Please remember in September and send me your adress.

Sigrun

snappy said...

thanks Sigrun, I will remember to send my address.Aquilegia's ha ha cant wait...