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  1. Neil Harvey

    Comment by 'Neil Harvey' in media 'Red kites playing in the sunlight (corrected - thanks Neil)'

    What I forgot to say is that it's a stunning image!
  2. Neil Harvey

    Laser pointers

    I was appalled to see NHBS offering for sale a laser pointer, intended for use by birdwatchers to point out birds to their fellows. This seems to be a shockingly intrusive suggestion and I feel it has no place in our hobby. While the laser pointer may well be safe, from a health point of...
  3. Neil Harvey

    beetle thing for Id, wales

    It's a longhorn beetle of some kind, I think Prionus coriarius, a male because of the serrate antennae. Neil
  4. Neil Harvey

    Hoopoe on Countryfile

    This is a standard "countryside bird noises" soundtrack that is stuck on to loads of BBC programmes. The other species that regularly crops up is Bee-eater, which I first remember hearing on Emmerdale as a teenager in the 80s. Anywhere near water of any kind will see a "wetland" soundtrack...
  5. Neil Harvey

    Help with pipit ID please

    Doesn't anybody think Water Pipit? The wingbars and particularly the outer tail feathers, the far one on the top picture look distinctly white to me, not the grey/brown of Rock Pipit. Also, the supercilium is pronounced particularly behind the eye. the ground colour of the underparts appears...
  6. Neil Harvey

    Another webcam, possibly even more addictive.

    I've just discovered a Yahoo group dedicated to Pete's Pond: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/petespond/ Regards Neil Harvey
  7. Neil Harvey

    Wasp ID

    They look like Hornets to me. Neil Harvey
  8. Neil Harvey

    Another webcam, possibly even more addictive.

    The best chances for birders are when they zoom right in on a mammal and there are birds in the background. I've id'd Common Sandpiper by a crocodile and African Mourning Dove this way, but I just missed a larger wader, possibly a ruff. Neil Harvey
  9. Neil Harvey

    Another webcam, possibly even more addictive.

    Are you sure!? Okapis live in deep jungle in West Africa and Turkeys are restricted to North America!!! The Turkeys were either Helmeted Guineafowl - short fat dumpy birds in large flocks - or Kori's Bustards - Tall elegant birds walking slowly round in small numbers. As for the Okapis -...
  10. Neil Harvey

    addictive map thingy

    That's brilliant! I just watched the animated GIFs for Sooty Shearwaters. You're able to watch exactly what the colony is up to. Towards the end of the breeding season birds suddenly start moving further afield up and dow the coast and then one by one the strike off across the pacific...
  11. Neil Harvey

    wanting to dabble in microscopy

    I've just bought a stereomicroscope from Alana Ecology, for work, for £300. It seems to do the job OK. x2 and x4 objectives with x10 eyepieces give x20 and x40 magnification overall. Admittedly if I was buying for myself I would have done a bit more looking around, but I suspect it would be...
  12. Neil Harvey

    Insect ID please

    I reckon that's Trypeta zoe a Tephritid fly. This group are some of the picture-winged flies (for obvious reasons) and most induce galls or mine leaves in the plants that the larvae live in while developing. This one is very common and mines the leaves of a range of composite flowers including...
  13. Neil Harvey

    Spider Id Please...:)

    I'm afraid I can't see any detail in your photo. We'll need a better image if possible. Regards Neil Harvey
  14. Neil Harvey

    Greater Plantain growth deformity

    Other options could be bacterial infection or genetic deformity - either spontaneous or induced by chemicals. Nothing like the growth in your pictures is included in the FSC book of British Plant Galls. It might be interesting to get the opinion of the British Plant Gall Society...
  15. Neil Harvey

    Is this a bush cricket?

    They can be found on a wide range of trees and shrubs, mostly in mature woodland, but also on isolated mature trees. Other species that they can be found on include Dogwood, Field Maple, Hazel, Sweet Chestnut, Goat Willow, Elm, etc. They are mainly nocturnal, are attracted to light and quite...
  16. Neil Harvey

    Giant Slug?

    It is indeed Arion ater, which comes in four main colour forms: jet black, orange, brown and the pale orange-grey of yours. This species is very widespread and common and big! It feeds on animal as well as plant matter so you can often find them crowded around squashed snails and the like...
  17. Neil Harvey


    I believe these are new varieties produced by Writtle College; saw something about them on the Chelsea Flower Show programmes this year. Regards Neil Harvey
  18. Neil Harvey

    Autumn Berries for ID please

    I'm with Xenospiza, the first is Buckthorn, note the pattern of venation on the leaves, the veins curving up toward the tip. The toothed leaves separate it from Alder Buckthorn, which is similar. The second is definitely not native, but I don't do garden plants! Regards Neil Harvey
  19. Neil Harvey


    I'm with James, Chiffchaff. Regards Neil Harvey
  20. Neil Harvey

    Insect ID's

    The hoverfly is Episyrphus balteatus, a very common immigrant and just about the most abundant hoverfly at the moment. Regards Neil Harvey
  21. Neil Harvey

    Beetle I.d. Required Please.

    I think it's a Dor Beetle Geotrupes stercorarius, a dung beetle specialising in cow dung. Regards Neil Harvey
  22. Neil Harvey

    Strange fly????

    It's Toxoneura muliebris one of the Pallopteridae, a picture-winged fly. The larvae probably develop in detritus under bark and in wood boring beetle holes and it is quite common. The pattern on the wing is characteristic. It is completely harmless. Regards Neil Harvey
  23. Neil Harvey

    Help please...

    That's Himalayan Balsam, as the name suggests not a native species. It is now widespread and can be very invasive, forming dense stands that exclude all other flowering plants. The seed pods burst open explosively when touched - by people, rain, etc. -, persist for a long time in the soil and...