Sunday, 16 November 2008

Some Very Small Inhabitants of Shute Woods

The only birding with intent I've managed today was an hours seawatching from the AYC first thing. It did mostly consist of watching just sea, but a couple of nice birds did eventually oblige. These were a Brent Goose and an unseasonal Balearic Shearwater. If I was to say that my attention was drawn to latter by the phrase "Hello, what's this... A Shearwater" Then you would probably be able to guess who was sewatching too?

I made an afternoon visit to Shute Woods which seemed to be completely birdless today, not to worry though because the reason for my visit was to collect some more ' Finest Shute Woods Moss' the stuff in which Water Bears are found. I've collected moss from many places over the last few weeks but upon inspection none has contained anything much of interest under the microscope. Shute Woods seem to be the only 'Water Bear Habbo' in the area! They were pretty abundant in today's sample and I didn't have to search long to find some. Here's another short video of one:

video

I also collected some water from a boggy pool, I haven't had time for a good look at it yet but it certainly contains lots of Desmids, including this beauty:


Micrasterias


There were lots of Rotifers in the moss sample too and I was really pleased to get a video of one feeding. It's a Bdelloidea and has an obvious twin crown of rotating cillia. In the video you can see these producing little currents and thus directing food particles to the creatures mouth. Cool! Well I think so.....

video

1 comment:

Gavin Haig said...

Hello, what's this? Looks like a blog featuring microscopic organisms! Look, look! Straight out, just above the keyboard - IT IS!!

Cool! ;-)