NATURE

Dolphin pod returns to Menai Straits

A small pod of dolphins has made a return to the Menai Straits – two bottle nose dolphins have been seen leaping and playing there this summer. A larger pod of common dolphins have been seen at llanddwyn Island. These are the two types most commonly seen around our coasts. And of course dolphins have been seen in our Borthwen coastline. See the sidebar for more about dolphins.

Isabel with owls

Caro took this picture of her granddaughter holding a Little Owl at the County Show this summer. And in the sidebar is the Barn Owl they also saw there.

Wasp or hoverfly?

Unlike wasps that can sting you, hoverflies (see picture in sidebar) are good news. They look very similar but in fact they don’t sting. This is nature’s way of protecting them from predators such as birds, which mistake them for stinging insects. There are good reasons for encouraging hoverflies: their larvae gobble up aphids and the adults will pollinate flowers. Herbs such as fennel, dill, angelica and parsley, are all ideal. As are flowers such as members of the daisy family, dahlias, cornflowers.

And of course, avoid using pesticides – which are in any case to be discouraged in the garden (and everywhere else!).

There seem to have been rather more than usual wasps about the place – annoying us while we are eating. They are after sugar and if they don’t get it from our food they will attack our fruit trees.

Wasp

The scourge of plastic pollution

Successive governments have said they will tackle the devastating ecological problem of plastics in our environment. But still it is out there and still we all buy products in plastic bags and bottles. We are as guilty as most, but we really are trying. We need more manufacturers and retailers to do the same. Supermarkets like Waitrose, Iceland and the Co-op are in the process of replacing plastic bags with paper ones strong enough to carry home your food.

And we ALL need to recycle our plastics responsibly. Whilst some local authorities do provide recycle bins (ours does, so it really isn’t difficult) not all yet do. You just have to remember to collect your rubbish and take it home when you leave the beach or countryside picnic spot. Unlike whoever just threw this bottle overboard:

This was one of the more bearable pictures of un-recycled plastic. Those of animals and birds caught up in plastic are horrific (we have featured some in the past).

Plastic film

Plastic film is one of the worst offenders, being very hard to recycle and apparently only one in 10 councils do recycle it (according to recycling charity Recoup). Plastic film includes plastic bags for frozen food, pet food, confectionery wrappings as well as magazine wrappings. It accounts for a quarter of all household plastic waste by weight. So we need manufacturers to stop using it and councils to start recycling it.

Two male pheasants – Susan H

Not a match made in heaven!

One July morning, two male pheasants appeared to pick seeds under the bird table, usually we have just one pheasant calling. All went well for five minutes, then relationships deteriorated and feathers flew as they challenged each other. Both slunk off after their fight. One pheasant, not sure which one, returned the next morning as usual (see picture in the sidebar).

Sand sculpture spotted by Caro on Borthwen beach