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  1. Torchepot

    Insect from Crete

    Thanks guys - I had no idea there were two invasive species of hornet from Asia threatening Europe’s honey bees! o_Oo_O
  2. Torchepot

    Insect from Crete

    Not just Southern Europe - recorded in Gloucestershire this year and looks like it’s established itself in Jersey. Asian hornet: Record number of queens found in Jersey Asian hornet: Record number of queens found in Jersey
  3. Torchepot

    Is a parabolic dish capable of listening or recording 12hz?

    Curious about what (and how) insects could produce such low frequencies (and how they could detect them)?
  4. Torchepot

    Wader ID (UK)

    Beautiful shot Roy!(y)
  5. Torchepot

    2 dead Merlins. What killed them???

    Were they found at the same time? Not exactly sure whether they were found together or whether there was some interval between the discoveries. Was there any sign of harm or damage?
  6. Torchepot

    Unusual bird call, East Yorkshire, UK

    Sounds like it could be a corvid - Jay maybe? Sounds weird that it made the call over the period of an hour though?
  7. Torchepot

    Squirrel-proof feeding station

    Update So more than a year later the effect of this set-up has been quite remarkable. Just putting it into context - we’re very isolated here and our nearest neighbours are approx 3/4 mile in one direction and 1/2 mile in the other. Both our neighbours feed the birds and we were all plagued by...
  8. Torchepot

    Young viviparous lizard?

    Someone recently sent me this photo asking me the same thing. At the time I thought it might be a young smooth newt, based partly on locality. Pleasley Vale - Derbyshire/Leicestershire border.
  9. Torchepot

    Did Gilbert White use binoculars?

    I’ve often wondered if and when optics were first used by naturalists and I assumed that the old fashioned draw tube telescopes were familiar to any who travelled on long sea journeys from the 1800s onwards. It seems though that the type of telescope used by naval officers would have been too...
  10. Torchepot

    Did Gilbert White use binoculars?

    As soon as something gives one person an advantage of any sort over another you can be sure the military will be on to it. Looks like the early field glasses were pretty poor by modern standards - mostly about 3x mag. Some early examples in the link below. Years ago I tried to find any...
  11. Torchepot

    Bittern? Heron? Which kind of Hawk? And Sparrow help in Perth, Ontario

    Glad to see that the issue seems to be resolved. I try to keep an open mind - been wrong too many times! My first thought was that the rufous tones didn’t fit for Goshawk - but such is the power of suggestion that I then spent ages trying to make it fit! Now who wants to have a go at...
  12. Torchepot

    Bittern? Heron? Which kind of Hawk? And Sparrow help in Perth, Ontario

    Hi Chipster, I was hoping that someone with plenty of experience of North American accipters would chip in (no pun intended) and throw some light on this. I have no personal experience of Goshawk in the US and only limited experience of Cooper’s so I can only look at field guides or trawl...
  13. Torchepot

    Poorly Greenfinch (UK

    If there’s any chance that it’s this horrible disease I would strongly urge you to, temporarily at least, not put water out for your birds - it spreads quickly through shared water.
  14. Torchepot

    Bittern? Heron? Which kind of Hawk? And Sparrow help in Perth, Ontario

    Happy to be put right - but where does the idea that immature Goshawks have barred flanks come from? They’re often less wary than adults and easier to photograph and observe and the ones I’ve seen usually have big streaks, tear drops or chevrons on the flanks. The adults have barring which...
  15. Torchepot

    Bittern? Heron? Which kind of Hawk? And Sparrow help in Perth, Ontario

    I’ve never seen a juvenile Goshawk with barring like that on the underparts - but I’ve never seen a Goshawk in the USA so I’m not certain if there is any variation. I cranked up the desktop computer today and put your image on a big monitor and have almost convinced myself that there is some...
  16. Torchepot

    Bee Mimic? (Cambs, UK)

    Thanks for the tip, I never actually saw mine in flight - it sneaked off into the mint flowers and I lost it.
  17. Torchepot

    Bee Mimic? (Cambs, UK)

    Looking at Steven Falk‘s excellent photos I have little doubt - I think the colouration of “your” specimen is a much more convincing bumblebee mimic and I would quite possibly have overlooked it.
  18. Torchepot

    Bittern? Heron? Which kind of Hawk? And Sparrow help in Perth, Ontario

    Looks barred on the chest to me. I’ve seen Coopers with rufous in the same area but never seen it in Goshawk.
  19. Torchepot

    Bee Mimic? (Cambs, UK)

    Thanks for the link Gareth, I found a different site where it was described as bumblebee hoverfly. In any case I think your ID is right and that we’ve recorded both forms of the same species (y)
  20. Torchepot

    Bittern? Heron? Which kind of Hawk? And Sparrow help in Perth, Ontario

    Just a couple of thoughts - the underparts appear barred and not streaked - which I believe would rule out juvenile Goshawk. Secondly - though it’s hard to be certain - doesn’t the leading edge of the underwing appear rufous? Is that compatible with adult Goshawk?
  21. Torchepot

    Bee Mimic? (Cambs, UK)

    Is this the same guy? - taken yesterday here in SW Wales
  22. Torchepot

    Bonkers Balsam!

    The fastest growing annual in the U.K. I believe - I used to love them when I was a kid - the explosive seed pods were great fun. They are no joke in this part of Wales though - a huge problem in some of the river valleys.
  23. Torchepot

    Bonkers Balsam!

    The reason I posted this is because in three years of battling with them and pulling up thousands I've never seen any approaching these dimensions. They're usually up to chest or occasionally head height - these are mutant monsters!!
  24. Torchepot

    Bonkers Balsam!

    What gave you that idea? I'm battling to remove hundreds (thousands?) from our land. I just measured one as 2.8 metres plus tall! Just imagine how far they could fire their seeds from that height!
  25. Torchepot

    Bonkers Balsam!

    Himalayan
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