Tuesday 30 September 2008

Micro-digiscoping - It Actually Works!

This morning I was back at Colyford Common to see what the high tide would bring. Firstly, it brought in this:

Shore crab: Definitely a Colyford Common first for me.

There was still nothing new on the scrape, except even more water, which is good I suppose. The birds which were on show were 9 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, a Ruff and the Egyptian Goose. In front of the hide were 3 Stonechats a couple of Reed Buntings at least 3 Kingfishers and a Reed Warbler.

The Barwit

As promised yesterday, I've had a good look at the contents of the Tawny Owl pellet but the pieces were so fragmented it was very difficult to identify anything with much certainty. Here's a picture of the bones, probably all easily recognisable to any bone identification aficionados who may be reading this. It could happen!! I tell you what I could see though: Some rodent incisor teeth, most probably from a Vole, some Pygmy Shrew bones (leg and ribs) and what looked like birds claws, quite big ones ( two just visible, top centre).

Owl's Leftovers

I looked at the above assemblage under the microscope but I couldn't find anything interesting enough to try and take a photo of, or micro-digiscope, if that's the correct term. To rectify this I took the dog for a quick walk at Lower Bruckland Ponds (where by the way there was a distinct lack of interesting ducks today). By far the best thing to look at under a microscope is a nice bit of pond water, so I collected a bottle-full from one of the smaller ponds and tootled off home to have a look. Unfortunately, although I still have my trusty microscope from my archaeology days I don't have all the additional accoutrements still. I had to improvise, and instead of a petri dish used the plastic front from a pack of batteries!! It worked after a fashion, here are some micro-digiscoped photos of some of what I found. I really didn't expect it to work this well. Aren't digital cameras just brilliant!!? Hopefully I'll be able to get some photos of some of the smaller stuff when I've acquired some slides and cover slips.

Volvox - The jewel of the pond. Actually a colony of green algae.

Daphnia or Water Flea

A Cyclops and another Volvox
(also what I think are some Rotifers attached to the Cyclops)

As previously stated there were lots of other organisms especially Rotifers but they were too active to photograph without trapping them under a cover slip first. I'll have to give it a go one day.

1 comment:

Gavin Haig said...

Cool! I feel hungry all of a sudden!