The questions are endless. I'd always want to keep things like blackbirds in my world, but at the moment they don't need as much protection as lots of other things. So I'm going to cop out and pick a slightly easier question. Since I've only just moved to Devon I've chosen ten amazing species that live here, and that I don't often see, that I would love to find, watch and learn about over my first 12 months in the county. I'm splitting them up into two blogs so here are the first five (the rest will come in a second blog later this week):
|Derek Harper [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
Ash: This lovely tree has been all over the news recently and unfortunately last week the first reported case of ash die back disease was recorded in Devon. Ash is one of the trees I find easiest to identify and I would hate to see it disappear from our countryside. Hopefully I'll be seeing ash all over Devon for years to come, but this year in particular I'll be watching out for it more than normal.
|Photo by Chris Gotschalk http://www.piscoweb.org/who/techs/cgotschalk.html|
|Photo from http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/species/Devonshire+cup+coral/|
Raft spider: Similar to the Great raft spider (which has been recently reintroduced into the Norfolk Broads) the raft spider is one of the biggest spiders found in the UK, growing up to 8cm from toe to toe (do spiders have toes?!) . These amazing little beasts hunt by sitting on the water (using their legs like a raft) using the surface tension as other spiders do the tension of a web. A deep chocolate brown with a light stripe on each side of their back these are quite pretty as far as spiders go. I have seen them briefly in the past but in Dorset (at the RSPB Arne reserve) and I would love to see them again, in Devon, for a closer longer look. Check out this BBC video, to see how good they are at hunting!
|Photo from Orest (Flickr: Raft spider - Dolomedes fimbriatus) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
So there are my first five. My next five can all fly and are fantastic Devon wildlife sights, but they aren't all birds, can you guess any of them? Answers coming soon...