Category Archives: Nature

Visits from exciting moths

We were visited by these amazing moths the other day. The last is determined to be a Scalloped oak (Crocallis elinguaria). The other two we don’t know yet. If you do, let me know!

EDIT: Turns out the first one is a poplar hawk-moth (laothoe populi).

Poplar Hawk-moth

Poplar Hawk-moth

Subtle Moth

Subtle Moth

Scalloped oak

Scalloped oak

Which small ducks

A couple of days ago I saw some birds in the water next to the cycle path on my way to work in the morning. My first thought was “small ducks”, but after having past them I realised I hadn’t looked closely at them and though I tried to fix the vague memories of their appearance in my head, by the time I got to work I realised that it could have been anything from a moor hen to a “funnily coloured duck that looked small for some reason”. I wish I could go back in time and look at them properly!

Fortunately, time travel was not required in order to get a second look. On my way home from work, the ducks were still there, and though they got a bit shy when I carefully brought my bike to a stop and slowly got my camera out, they only swam a little further away, and stayed near some grass they could hide in, if they needed it. I managed to get a little video. I’m sure they were making some sounds at the time, but unfortunately it was so windy that it’s pretty impossible to hear anything on here. Towards the end I zoom in, and you can see them a bit better:

I also took quite a few photos, and here are some zoomed and cropped versions. Click for bigger versions in lightbox:

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks

Small Ducks



Hopefully some helpful ornithologists out there can help me figure out what they are. Please comment with your ideas!

Unknown Bird Song

Edit: helpful souls on Twitter have helped decide that this is a song thrush, that just hadn’t started singing properly.

Out on a walk, we saw this little fellow sitting very proud in the top of a tree and singing for us. He wasn’t shy, and after listening to him a bit I decided to record it so I could try to find out what bird he is:

Let me know in the comments if you have any ideas 🙂

La Margherita and glow worms

Today we finally managed to get organised enough to book a table at La Margherita. It’s a very nice Italian restaurant on Bridge Street. It’s always looked interesting and tempting but also rather busy, so we were surprised to find it almost quiet when we arrived. It also turned out that booking the table probably wasn’t necessary even if it had been more busy as there are several more tables in two first floor areas. The food was tasty and we had a fruity fresh Pinot Grigio Blush. We both had risotto, but they were rather different. Mine was with sea food while Katie’s was with mushrooms. We aimed for something that wasn’t too heavy because we wanted to make sure we’d have room for pudding. The photos below show how that was a very good idea 🙂


After dinner we realised we’d missed our bus to the glow worm location (an abandoned chalk pit in Cherry Hinton), so we ended up walking almost all the way there. That wasn’t necessary a bad thing because the later we’d get there, the greater chance of seeing some glow worms. This might have been why we no more than arrived before we saw the first one. This was the second time I’ve gone looking for these little fellows, and it’s still hard to believe when you spot them. They really look like small, slightly green LEDs that have been installed in the grass. It’s a rather amazing phenomenon and I recommend anyone to try it at least once. Our trip ended up being a short one as it started raining more and more heavily, but we still managed to find 7 happily glowing worms (they’re not actually worms, but larvae of beetles).

Elks

This morning we defied laziness, as our wish to see elks combined with the short time we have left here became dominant, and woke up at 6:00 to go for a drive.

We went up some small forest roads and after only half an hour our early start was rewarded. We’d all been paying a lot of attention to the forest, checking every clearing for anyone looking back. The expectation of seeing one almost made it feel impossible that it would actually happen. But suddenly there were two odd faces looking straight at us with very big ears and huge noses. One was significantly bigger than the other and the smaller one soon lost interest in us and started walking away. It was a mother with a calf, and shortly after we realized the little one had a twin. After 5-10 min or so and a lot of photos, the mum got up as well and they all slowly walked off. Funny how it’s obvious that they aren’t scared of us but just think we’re a bit annoying and would rather be alone. And in spite of their size they’re surprisingly good at disappearing.

About five minutes further on the drive another elk walked out on the road a bit ahead of us, followed the road a bit and went back in between the trees. As soon as we got to where it had left the road it was already out of sight, though there seemed to be a 5 meter rock wall where it would have gone.

Although, as I mentioned earlier, we took a lot of photos, you’ll have to wait a bit before they’ll be on here, as they have to be processed before they’re ready for publishing. So long for now!