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Author Topic: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald  (Read 135666 times)

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1230 on: October 20, 2023, 10:18:21 PM »









ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1231 on: October 20, 2023, 10:21:05 PM »









ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1232 on: October 20, 2023, 10:23:57 PM »









ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1233 on: October 20, 2023, 10:45:45 PM »
Some views along the valley from the pine wood.








Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1234 on: October 21, 2023, 06:30:15 PM »
Hi Ian,

I enjoyed the photographs of the countryside and farmland immensely. This certainly helps me put your outing in perspective. I know nothing of your region or its appearance.

It looks like the storm clouds were threatening to bring rain soon. Was your area severely impacted by the recent stormy weather in Northern Europe? Here it has been extremely hot with daily high temperatures being broken over much of our region. On 19 October it was 96 F (35.6 C) at our Placerville farm. Today the weather is forecasted to be much cooler with a chance of rain tomorrow. Currently of precipitation totals are running about 80% of average as of 20 October. In the Sierra Nevada Mountains precipitation is above average to date. So far, there has been only a light dusting of snow at the highest elevations, however this all melted during the recent heat wave. It is frosty most night at the highest elevations and in high elevation cold air basins. The flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada are preparing for winter.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1235 on: October 22, 2023, 10:47:07 AM »
Hello Robert, we have had a lot of rain this summer and autumn. Although not usually heavy it has been prolonged. The river, higher than usual had risen about 6 feet above present, as shown on the close up photo. The forecast here is for more rain in the coming week with today, Sunday, the only rain free day. The temperatures have been lower this Summer in our area but higher in the South.

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1236 on: October 22, 2023, 06:37:33 PM »
Hi Ian,

I find your climatic information very interesting. To help me put your “Local Patch” into perspective, where (in general terms) is your “Local Patch” located in the UK? It looks very rural. Agriculture appears to be centered on livestock and hay production? There seems to be a great deal of forested land in the mountainous/hill country.

Here in our part of Northern California, temperatures this past winter were well below average. I have to go back in my climatic records to 1999 to find colder average wintertime temperatures. Summer temperatures were average for our region. Now temperatures have turned well above average. Warm winter temperatures in our region are characteristic when strong El Niño conditions prevail in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which is what we are currently experiencing. Currently there are no indications that this pattern will change going into the winter.

Our big questions now is how much precipitation will we receive this winter. We are working on 25 years of drought in our region with only a small sprinkling of above average precipitation seasons mixed in. (Last year for example) Our natural ecosystems are extremely stressed, however unmanaged (natural) systems are showing a great deal of resiliency. In our region, managed and exploited systems are a complete failure! Concerning climate and environmental stability, we are well into uncharted territory. Environmental conditions are deteriorating rapidly with no signs of significant change taking place. There is a certain fascination in studying climate and its impacts on ecosystems, however in face of the dramatic climatic changes taking place maintaining stable gardening and agricultural systems at our Sacramento home and Placerville farm are requiring a great amount of detailed attention and effort on my part.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1237 on: October 23, 2023, 01:04:57 PM »
Hello Robert, the area is North-East Scotland. The local Geology is mixed, with Quartzite and outcrops of volcanic origin. The area contains rounded hills between 1000-2000 ft. or less. As you say, it is fairly rural. There is a mix of sheep and cattle grazing, mainly on land not suitable for arable crops. On suitable land the main crop in this area is barley, grown for the whiskey industry. Potatoes are also grown and some oats. On higher ground timber is grown, mainly a mix of larch, spruce and pine. Some of these plantations are so dense that little wildlife is possible. Where pines are grown more light reaches the ground and an understory of Blaeberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) carpets the ground, sometime with Goodyera repens. Along the river are many alien species such as himalayan balsam, japanese knotweed, white butterbur, pink purslane and few flowered garlic. Nearby is a narrow valley which the sun hardly penetrates, except in late afternoon. There are few flowering plants here but it is a good site for mosses and lichens. There are no meadows, just grazed grass fields. To sum the area up it is either cerials, grazing or commercial conifers.

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1238 on: October 23, 2023, 01:17:35 PM »
Water level gauge in the river showing the rise and fall of the level. I,m not sure of the spacing but think they are around 10cm.



October 11th.



October 16th.



October 22nd. Still higher than usual.

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1239 on: October 23, 2023, 07:07:56 PM »
Hi Ian,

Thank you for all the information. This certainly helps me put things into perspective. As a farmer I found the information about the local agriculture very interesting. Thanks again.  :)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1240 on: October 30, 2023, 04:31:57 PM »
I went for a ride hoping to see Autumn colours in the sunshine but it was dull, as usual.










ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1241 on: November 13, 2023, 10:45:58 AM »
Some of the wildlife seen recently.



An Orange Ladybird,Halyzia sedecimguttata.



Otter tracks.



Siskin feeding on Alder seeds.



Goldfinch feeding on Alder seeds.



A Cormorant on the river.

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1242 on: November 13, 2023, 11:18:02 AM »


I saw a Roe Deer stood among some trees. I have been told that Deer are being shot and that the people doing this are paid by the carcass and that Deer of any age are being killed. I was also told that scottish natural heritage approve of Deer shooting. Also being shot are Goosanders as they are blamed for the lack of Salmon.



A Moorhen on a local pond.



Fresh-water Mussels have been washed up in the recent high river levels.



I saw a Squirrel burying food for the Winter.



As I was walking along the river a Kingfisher flew past. I stood among some trees further down-river and waited to see if it appeared in a likely area for small fish and was rewarded with a decent view of the bird.


ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1243 on: November 13, 2023, 11:26:27 AM »


Walking back up-river I noticed a Dipper stood on a rock. The bird seemed to be standing up-right, in an unusual pose. I then saw another Dipper close by. Perhaps the first bird was using a threat pose to warn the other bird it was in another birds territory? The second bird flew off after a short skirmish.


ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #1244 on: November 20, 2023, 12:21:03 PM »
Some of the birds seen recently by the river were, Siskins feeding on Alder seeds.



Bullfinches.



Goldcrests.



A Buzzard sat on the river bank.



A Northern Winter moth.




 


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