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Country diary: tiny toads star in their own fast-forward evolution movie

13.08.2020
Příroda
Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: The action is on the ground, with hundreds of toadlets scurrying along the dark, damp trackA mild southerly breeze, overcast, rain spitting into the leathery green of the dog-days - toad weather. The old railway line that runs down Wenlock Edge through Northway Wood cuts across the steep scarp slope. On an evening like this it is a quiet place. It hasn't seen a train since the early sixties and has been used for taking out timber and walking since then, but as an open ride through woods it is a vibrant passageway for wildlife traffic.Small white butterflies flickering through seemingly random flight patterns along the edges of the track may be the very localised wood whites, Leptidea sinapis, expanding their range in Shropshire and characteristic of old railway lines and woodland rides. If they are, they are second-brood females looking for tall trefoils and vetch to lay eggs on, and it would be great to see a thriving population of them here. Southern hawker dragonflies zip through 90 degree turns without slowing down; buzzards float in the space between tree canopies; wasps hide under hogweed umbels; robins and wrens call from late-flowering honeysuckle; grey squirrels leap into hazel branches. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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27. září 2020




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