Monday, 15 April 2013

Week 17: Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)

The woodpigeon was @SpeciesofUK from 31st March to 6th April 2013.

The woodpigeon is a member of the Columbidae family, which contains all 310 species of doves and pigeons.

[Wikimedia Commons © Nick Fraser]

The woodpigeon appears right across the UK and according to RSPB data is our seventh most common bird.[1] In fact, it’s such a common sight now that in 2005 it even topped the BTO’s list of the UK’s most commonly seen birds.[2]

Friday, 12 April 2013

Week 16: Kelp (Laminaria)

Kelp were the @SpeciesofUK from 17th to 30th March 2013.

Kelp are an extremely important UK species. They are the backbone of our rocky, wind and wave-swept western coastline, and provide an important habitat for many other species, just as forests do on land.

Most people in the UK are familiar with kelp from finding washed up pieces on the seashore. Aside from going diving, live kelp can be most easily seen by visiting a rocky shore at low tide and spotting the fronds sticking out of the water.[1]

Kelp Fronds at Low Tide, Scotland
[Source: Wikimedia Commons © Anne Burgess]

Over the years kelp has served many uses, from providing kelp ash and iodine in times gone by, to kelp alginates in foodstuffs today.