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David Bradley

Sciencebase - Freelance Science Writer

Last Build Date: Mon, 29 May 2017 00:01:39 +0000


Oak apple day

Mon, 29 May 2017 00:01:39 +0000

An oak apple or oak gall is the common name for round, vaguely apple-like, galls formed on many species of oak, they’re usually and inch or two in diameter. They grow when a female wasp of the family Cynipidae (commonly in Europe, the wasp Biorhiza pallida) lays a single egg in a developing leaf bud. The larva … Continue reading "Oak apple day"

Why is Venison never cheap?

Sun, 28 May 2017 20:52:18 +0000

Why is venison never cheap? Well…it’s always deer! The old ones are the best…the joke seems to have put a smile on this muntjac deer’s face, although she wouldn’t be so pleased with herself if she knew what we had for our Sunday roast. Female Reeves’s muntjac, Muntiacus reevesi, ambling along a rough hewn field … Continue reading "Why is Venison never cheap?"

Great spotted fledgling

Sun, 28 May 2017 13:01:52 +0000

The Great Spotted Woodpecker chick (Dendrocopos major) I have been photographing these last few days is getting very bold and almost bouncing out of his tree house when the adults visit with food. I am surprised that there is only one chick, maybe nest size limits how many eggs the female lays. Either way, this … Continue reading "Great spotted fledgling"

Speckled brown butterfly

Sat, 27 May 2017 15:03:08 +0000

Snapped a speckly brown butterfly in the local woodland, went to my book…misread the page pictures, thought it was a woodland brown (Lopinga achine), but 1 AND 2 were of the same speckled brown species, the woodland brown is absent from British shores. Turns out to be a female speckled brown (Pararge aegeria). A lot … Continue reading "Speckled brown butterfly"

Classic Chords #19 – Fire and Rain

Fri, 26 May 2017 13:14:00 +0000

James Taylor has written many classic songs, they’re the archetypal singer-songwriter songs you might say. Wonderful melodies, intriguing lyrics and when you’re listening to the originals, wonderful guitar tone and fingerstyle playing. One of the things you quickly learn in attempting to play and sing these simple-seeming songs is that they’re not at all simple, … Continue reading "Classic Chords #19 – Fire and Rain"

Don’t touch me there

Thu, 25 May 2017 09:46:39 +0000

Every year little blue flowers emerge…I can never remember their name and always have to ask Mrs Sciencebase to remind me…oh yeah: “forget-me-not” also known as “mouse’s ear” because of the shape of its leaves, and one of many types of scorpion grass, common one here has the scientific name Myosotis scorpioides) But, the forget-me-not … Continue reading "Don’t touch me there"

Classic Chords #18 – Times Like Foo

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:33:23 +0000

Fellow C5 band member Andrea had a suggestion for a classic chord, one she’s not found a satisfactory resolution for in “Times Like These” by Foo Fighters. As Andrea points out, there are two versions: the original Rush-influenced album version with the following riff that sounds a lot like a Lifesonesque version of The Cult’s “She sells sanctuary” … Continue reading "Classic Chords #18 – Times Like Foo"

Media Files:

Starling chick waiting to be fed

Tue, 23 May 2017 15:04:50 +0000

I’ve been walking past trees with lots of woodpecker holes recently and, as regular readers will know I’ve photographed the great spotted woodpeckers that are feeding chicks in the highest hole. Got some good shots of them flying in and out of the male with a load of grubs in its mouth ready to enter … Continue reading "Starling chick waiting to be fed"

Rejigging the mobile macro rig

Mon, 22 May 2017 09:38:16 +0000

On friday, I took up the challenge of extracting the read lens from an old CD drive to make a monster macro for my mobile (per the tip in Practical Photography magazine). My initial design had me boring a hole in a small, flat, Lego square, which was a perfect fit for the lens. The … Continue reading "Rejigging the mobile macro rig"

The baby woodpecker’s divided red crown

Mon, 22 May 2017 08:00:11 +0000

Okay, here’s a question for evolutionary ornithologists…or basically anyone who knows the answer: Why do the chicks of great spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major) have a bifurcated red crown? The mother’s head is completely black her red feathers being limited to the underside of her hind quarters (her so-called undertail coverts) , while the adult male … Continue reading "The baby woodpecker’s divided red crown"