Saturday, 25 May 2013

Wildlife,Cycling and Other Uplifting Stuff

NSB thought it might be nice to record some of the wildlife that is seen in the (not very big) NSB garden, and also a little wider afield whilst out cycling...

Note : Includes posts about scenery, buildings and other non-wildlife stuff!


Odd beach structures (eroding soil?) Newborough Beach, Anglesea, Summer 2017

Ladybird, Summer 2017

Sky, Barmouth, 2017

Beach, North Wales, 2017


Fungi on a tree stump, Nottingham, 2017 1/3

Fungi on a tree stump, Nottingham, 2017 2/3

Fungi on a tree stump, Nottingham, 2017 3/3


Blackberries - food on the go! Various locations Nottingham Summer 2017

Manky Looking Granthan Canal, nr Holme Pierrepont, Summer 2017

Corn by the Big Track, Summer 2017

Combine Harvesting, by Holme Pierrepont, Summer 2017


"Tag" US football being played near Beeston Weir, Summer 2017

Weather Station near Queens Drive Park and Ride, Summer 2017


Decisions, decisions. May 2017


Interesting initiative by #GetFitNotts to "to get fit together, and make a dent in Nottingham's obesity crisis!"

Nottingham Get Fit


Not something you see every day...

Drought Horse, Near Beeston Weir, Jun 2017


Rather beautiful flower - even did a U-turn on the bike to come back and take this picture!

Thistle flower,  Nottingham & Beeston Canal, near Boots, June 2017


Spotted this handsome chap (and his missus, out of shot on the right) whilst cycling along the Big Track in Nottingham.

Pheasant, Big Track, May 2017


According to the RSBP, Egyptian Geese "was introduced as an ornamental wildfowl species and has escaped into the wild, now successfully breeding in a feral state."

Egyptian Goose, Highfields Park, April 2017


Check out Nottingham People on Bikes who are a "group of individuals who passionately believe that our city needs to become a safer place to get about on a bike. By achieving this goal, we will improve the health and happiness of Nottingham residents, ease congestion, improve air quality and make our communities more liveable for people."

"Space for Cycling" is one of their events :

Nottingham Space for Cycling Event


Of course, the daddy of all Notingham Cycling organisations is PEDALS. Founded in 1979, Pedals is "a member of Cyclenation (the former Cycle Campaigns Network) and also works closely with the CTC (national cyclists’ organisation) and Sustrans. We also work closely with other cycle campaign groups and individual cycle campaigners in the East Midlands, through the informal East Midlands Cyclists Forum, with occasional meetings as well as email contact and exchanges of information between the meetings.


View across the Trent, from the South Side, Apr 2017


Wollaton Park Lake, Mar 2017


Link to an informal cycling group in Nottingham, who last year did a "coast-to-coast" ride for charity - No1 Son participated on a number of their rides in 2016.


Beeston Weir, 2016

Love that Nottingham Council trim the foliage by the Big Track
sent an email to Council to say thanks!

Many, many wabbits can be seen by the Big Track, 2016

Markings in preparation for Cycleway roadworks, by Lenton Roundabout, 2016


Surprised to see this noisy juvenile pigeon relentlessly harassing its parent for food - and the parent eventually obliging by regurgitating some dinner. Perhaps naively, would have expected the juvenile to be feeding under its own steam by this point in the year. Maybe his name is Kevin? ...

Noisy juvenile pigeon demanding food from parent, Dec 2016


Not strictly wildlife, but rather like this contrasting picture of a tree against a dusk sky...

Tree, dusk, Nottingham, Nov 2016


Beautiful Scenery, Nutbrook Trail, Sep 2016

Well, hello there Mr Teenager Swan! Nutbrook Trail, Sep 2016

Poppies by the Big Track, 2015

Field of Wheat, next to the Big Track


Garden Spider (?) Autumn 2016


Mushrooms, Autumn 2016


Mushrooms in Wollaton Park, Auumn 2016


Nov 2016
London Plane Tree leaves can be surprisingly large.
This one is about 2/3 width of bike handlebars !


Ride along parts of the Nutbrook Trail and Erewash Valley Trails (Sep 2016)

By pure chance it turned out that BFTF was cycling to work on National Cycle to Work Day, so took the opportunity to ride home the scenic way, via the Nutbrook Trail and Erewash Valley Trails. Some pics and bloggage below!

BFTF joined the Nutbrook trail at Shipley Country Park. The Nutbrook Trail follows the route of the dismantled Stanton railway branch line, which no doubt explains is gentle gradients...

The Nutbrook Trail takes you away from the traffic and into the coutnryside

BFTF joined the trail part way down

Impressed with the many projects the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is undertaking

Mushrooms by the trail. No idea what type!

Progress, nearing the end of the trail at...

...Stanton Lock, where it joins the...

...Erewash Valley Trail.

The Erewash Valley Trail is the result of funding and development by a range of partners, including :

Erewash Trail Development Partners

BFTF is very grateful for their foresight and perseverance in making this wonderful trail a reality.

BFTF is heading south!

Sometimes the scenery is too pretty for words

Sign in Sandiacre could do with a clean...

How sweet!

Now at Dockholme Loch, heading south to Trent Lock

Well, hello there Mr Teenager Swan!

Aye, when I were a lad...

Very close to Trent Lock now...

At Trent Lock, looking across to Radcliffe on Soar Power Station

Setting sun at Trent Lock - better get a move on if want to get home before dark!

Cracks me up every time!

Sharp Left  and follow the Trent into Nottingham

Cranfield Cut has an interesting story

Now I know I'm nearly home!


Sep 2016
Field Grasshopper, Sep 2016


Spring 2016
Emden Geese, by the Nottingham and Beeston Canal
Emden geese have long since been domesticated. They grow quickly and mate for life... ahh, how sweet!


Spring 2016
22 spot Ladybird, on a  mug of tea
Unlike ordinary ladybirds (which eat aphids), these little chappies eat mildew!


Spring 2016
Newt in a Derbyshire Garden, 
(used with kind permission from Darren Sims Photography)


Spring 2016
Field Mouse in a Derbyshire Garden,
(used with kind permission from Darren Sims Photography)


Spring 2016
Swan v Duck at Rushcliffe Country Part


Oct 2015
NSB has seen the majestic deer in Wollaton Park recently, but did not dare get as close as Ghufran Shah did to get this (and many other) awesome images...

Deer at Wollaton Park, Oct 2015, via Ghufran Shah
 * Not sure if getting this close is a good idea *


Summer 2015
Picked up a piece of wood that had been lying on a garden path for several weeks and found an ants nest, with many ants eggs, underneath. Within a few minutes the ants had taken all the eggs through cracks in the paving to a safer location underground.....

Ants taking care of business..


Summer 2015
Didn't really know where to put this, so have shoehorned it into this post - lovely vision of green while driving on the A6 (it's ok, the picture was taken from a layby!)

Wall of trees, next to A6, Derbyshire


Poppies by the Big Track, 2015

Field of Wheat, next to the Big Track

Trimmed hedges make you feel loved!
Kings Wood, Jun 2015


Found a rather handsome example of the Common Frog in the garden....

Common Frog


HGV's on the Nutbrook Trial, 2014

Several times each day, traffic on the Embankment has to stop for this....
Aug 2014

Very handsome indeed ! Nutbrook Trail, Derbyshire, Aug 2014

Swan taking off, Aug 2014

As close as BFTF could get to a rabbit when stopped.
In contrast, they would only move at the last minute if BFTF was actually cycling.
All a bit Heisenburg if you ask me...

Herons, Colwick Park - Jul/Aug2014

Lovely colours as bright sun behind BFTF plays on the fields and dark clouds ahead.
Near Beeston Weir - Jul/Aug2014

Fields of Wheat, between Stapleford and Bramcote- Jul/Aug2014

Fields of wheat, east of Notts, by River Trent, 2014

A work colleague showed NSB this leaf that had had two very neat sections cut out of it by a leaf cutter bee. For scale, that leaf is only about 1 inch long.

Leaf cutter Bee


Saw this while out cycling. Think it is a Cinnebar Moth Caterpillar..

Cinnabar Moth Caterpiller

And then, spookily, found some more in the front garden....

Cinnabar Moth Caterpiller


Realised that a number of pictures taken while cycling would fit nicely into this post...

Saw this rather groovy creature (which I believe to be a Mongolian Ringneck-type Common Pheasant) at the Park and Ride by the Trent.

A pheasant, looking cool, 2013


Sep 2013
Can you see the FISH (not the crab) in this picture taken at the Sealife Aquarium at Alton Towers...

Can you see the fish (not the crab) in this picture?

NSB also saw this rather strange plant at Alton Towers, which one of @george_gorilla's colleagues has said is a plant called "Gunnera" (worth reading the link just to learn about the plants symbiotic relationship with bacteria).


Close up of the Fruits of Gunnera

Also saw this rather handsome slug on a path in the south of England, which @george_gorilla has confirmed is probably a "Limax maximus" (commmonly called a Great Slug or Leapard Slug).

A Great Slug

Close up of the "Shield"

A work colleague NSB was cycling home with recently spotted this, bright orange, fungi on a tree. Fungi are tricky to identify, but @george_gorilla thinks this might be a type of Polyporus, which are a type of fungi that break down wood.(see also here) - and an awesome set of mushroon images can be found here

Unidentified Fungi on a tree. Can you identify it?

NSB's brother has a back garden that is perhaps a little on the overgrown side, but this has the advantage of making it something of a butterfly magnet, and NSB was enchanted to see perhaps a dozen Peacock Butterflies flitting amongst the buddlia.

Inachis Io (Peacock Butterfly)

And here is a bunch of other stuff from September....

A rather handsome Woodpigeon

A Jackdaw

A splendid, if somewhat overexposed, conker

A female mallard, looking all coy

Embarrasingly, a part of me is thinking how big a meal this would make.


May 2013
NSB found these mushrooms, a few inches in diameter, in the flower pots recently - and has no ideal what they are. Fortunately, @george_gorilla was able to put NSB in contact with a mushroom expert who commented :
"It would be useful to know the size of these mushrooms and also to dig one out to look at the base of the stem. At first sight looking at the pure white cap skin which seems to have a bloom upon it and the pale gills, I think it may belong among a genus called Clitocybe. It will not be possible to go further without a microscope as Clitocybe contains a number of species with white caps and whitish gills, some of which are very poisonous.

If the stem base has a volval bag and the gills become pink it may be a Volvariella. If the gills become pink and there is no basal bag, just a plain or bulbous stem base it may be a Pluteus which suggests there is buried wood.

There appears to be no ring on the stem so it should not be Amanita, another genus with poisonous species and volval bag at stem base.Does it smell of anything in particular by the way? Just mushroomy, sweetish, floury or mealy, mouldy?

Sorry I can't help further without actually having it to examine."

Crikey, NSB had no idea it was so tricky to identify a mushroom!

A large unidentifed mushroom. Can you help identify them?

And saw this, which @george_gorilla instantly confirmed as being a common, if rather large, House Spider

Also saw this big bad boy on a fence post.

A friend posted these pictures of a Mason Bee (his identification, NSB would not have know what type they were!) that had made a home in a hole on the lug of his childrens climbing frame.

A Mason Bee has found a home in a friends climbing frame hold
And here is the Mason Bee close up


Winter 2012/2013
Beautiful Spiders Web, lit up by raindrops

A surprisingly tame fox that wandered around work,
black legs indicate that it is a youngster

Small spider, no idea what type

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