Friday, 10 January 2014

A new year, new experiences and new features.

Hello everyone and welcome to my first wildlife blog of 2014. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and have not been affected by the extreme weather conditions that we have all been experiencing in varying degrees of severity. The first new feature in this blog British Birds came about as a result of a sighting of a Green Woodpecker while out enjoying a walk in the countryside which was particularly special as it was only my second encounter with the species. This has inspired a regular section celebrating our incredible diversity of bird life in the British Isles. The second new addition to the blog has come about as a result of the rather brilliant Natural History Museum Alive program by Sir David Attenborough if you have not had the opportunity to watch it yet I highly recommend you do. Watching it I was reminded of how these incredible now extinct animals had gripped me as a young child in sheer awe of the size of their skeletons while on regular trips to museums. Due to this this blog will run a feature on these incredible animals long gone but forever admired. As always I hope you enjoy the blog.

A rare diamond 

Recently our household acted as a temporary rescue centre to an escaped  Diamond Dove native to Australia this bird had escaped from its aviary  and very nearly paid the ultimate price as it suffered a glancing blow from the Sparrowhawk which frequently considers our garden its hunting ground. Fortunately however apart from shock the little bird suffered no obvious physical injury and after spending the afternoon recovering in the living room, through the power of the internet was later reunited with a very relieved owned the same night.
Photo: The latest rescue edition to the household a Diamond Dove, it just survived a Sparrowhawk attack and is now being helped its recovery
A very lucky bird !

British Birds : Green Woodpecker

Five facts on the Green Woodpecker 

1) Green Woodpeckers predominantly on the ground where short grass offers ideal feeding opportunities. While they can be found in Wales, Scotland and England they can't be found in Ireland.

2) The diet of this species of woodpecker is almost exclusively made up of ants, using its powerful beak to destroy ant colonies but will take a variety of other invertebrates.

3) Eggs are usually 31 by 23 mm in size and  clutches will typically be made up of 4-6 eggs. The incubation period lasts 19-20 days with fledgling taking place between 21 and 24 days.

4) The Green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpecker species in Britain Lesser and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers being the other two.

5) The Green Woodpecker's conservation status is listed as amber with 52, 000 breeding pairs in the UK.
Facts courtesy of the RSPB and British Trust for Ornithology.


Extinct Section part 1: Tyrannosaurus Rex

In my view this section could only start one way, featuring a dinosaur which has captured the imagination and starred in films for many decades most famously of all the Jurassic Park trilogy of course it is one of most infamous meat eaters to ever walk the planet - Tyrannosaurus Rex, Tyrant Lizard . Debate is strong about how much of this enormous dinosaurs diet was through predation  and how much was made up through scavenging behaviour, however what has been agreed on both sides of the debate is that T-Rex was incredibly opportunistic taking both live prey and scavenging.
T- Rex lived in North America during  the late Cretaceous period, standing at roughly 15-20 feet tall, 40 feet in length, weighing up to 6.8 metric tonnes and an enormous five foot long skull it would surely of made a terrifying sight. Conical teeth were  using for gripping and tearing food  and it has been estimated that 500 pounds of meat could be eaten in a single bite and fossil evidence of Triceratops and Edmontosaurus suggests bones were crushed while feeding and bone has also been found in its dung. Investigation into the olfactory lobes suggest that an incredible sense of smell was also part of the Rex's armoury, this would of helped detection towards both live and dead food this fact has been used by sides claiming Tyrannosaurus was primarily a scavenger although a final answer to this debate is likely to be a long time coming.  It is strongly suspected that females were larger than males by a scale of several thousand pounds theories as to why this may be include the fact females had to lay clutches of eggs or simply that females were more successful predators.
Whichever way this fearsome animal came across its food, what is for certain is that it is one of the most infamous creatures to ever walk the planet. Capturing the imagination of generations of people, there is no reason to think this most fearsome will not continue to inspire books, films and debate for many years to come.

Facts were sourced from
Bbc nature

News in brief: Large carnivores  in dire trouble

Lions beautiful, majestic, powerful, awesome predators and possibly soon to become extinct as new reports suggest the west African Lion could soon become extinct. From 21 protected areas surveyed in 2005 recent studies  have found that they are only found in four of these areas. In these areas the population is less than 400 with fewer than 250 mature adults.

Of the 31 largest carnivore species on the planet, three quarters of them are in decline with 17 species have had former ranges more than halved. Southeast Asia, southern and East Africa, and the Amazon are some of the areas hardest hit with numerous carnivores declining.

Trails and Tails Travel

Looking for a truly wild and wonderful adventure? want to see some natures most amazing natural creations ? Trails and Tails Travel offers a wide range of once in a lifetime opportunity to visit some of the most amazing locations on the planet run by Nicole and Matthew, you can look at their website by following this link you can also connect with them on Facebook!/TrailsAndTailsTravel?fref=ts.


You can follow me on Twitter @ReallyWildWykes where I will be posting regular sources of wildlife news, images and of course my blog updates direct to my Twitter account.

That is all for me this time I hope you enjoyed the new features and thanks for reading,

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