Dear Readers, Saturday 10th April is National Farm Animal Appreciation Day. Who knew there was such a thing? And considering what farm animals have done for human beings over the millenia, it’s well overdue. This week’s quiz is simply a question of looking at the photos, and deciding which country the breed came from: there are fifteen in all, three from each country. An extra point if you can name the breed, so that’s a maximum of 30 points.
So, if you think the animal in Photo 1 is from France, and the breed is ‘Stripey Cow’ your answer is 1)A – Stripey Cow.
As usual, pop your answers into the comments by 5 p.m. UK time on Thursday 15th April – as soon as I see them, I shall acknowledge them and then disappear them as if by magic. I’m not always the quickest on the draw though (especially as I’m working for most of next week), so write your answers down before you put them in the comments if you’re easily influenced.
Dear Readers, excellent performances all round this week! We had Mike with 16 out of 20, Andrea with 18 out of 20 and at the top were Fran and Bobby Freelove with 20 out of 20. Thank you all for taking part, and let’s see what I can come up with for tomorrow…
1. E. Snail. These eggs always remind me of polystyrene when I find them!
2. H. Grass Snake
3. G. Blackbird
4. J. Robin. The American Robin’s eggs are ‘Robin-egg blue’, but the UK bird has these speckledy eggs.
5. B Black Guillemot. The eggs have evolved this special elongated shape to stop them from rolling off of cliff edges!
6. C. Great Crested Newt
7. D. Curlew
8. I. Wren. The nest is started by the male and then completed by the female, who also does all the incubating and feeding.
Dear Readers, this week I would like you to look at some photos of eggs, and some photos of adult animals, and see if you can match them up. Easy, eh? And I’ve only chosen ten of each, so hopefully you can enjoy your Easter break/weekend without too much fiddling about.
I will give one mark for successfully matching the photos, and a second mark if you can tell me what the animal is called. So, if you think that the eggs in Photo 1 were laid by the creature in Photo A then your answer is 1) A). And if you think that the creature in Photo A is a buzzard, you can put that down too, though I’d recommend a visit to SpecSavers.
They are all UK species, but hopefully this will still be accessible for people from other places.
The answers will be published on Friday 8th April, so answers in the comments by Thursday 7th April at 5 p.m. UK time as usual, please. When I see any responses I will acknowledge and then ‘disappear’ them, but write your answers down before you look at the comments if you are easily influenced like I am :-).
So, onwards! Eggs first and then adults. And here is a teeny tiny clue: the eggs of British birds are not necessarily the same colour as the eggs of their North American counterparts.
Dear Readers, congratulations this week to Fran and Bobby Freelove and Mike from Alittlebitoutoffocus, who all got a magnificent 20 out of 20, so well done Fran and Bobby and Mike! Let’s see what’s in store for us all tomorrow 🙂
Photo Eighteen By Riparia_riparia_-Markinch,_Fife,_Scotland_-flying-8.jpg: Nigel Wedge from Fife, Scotlandderivative work: Snowmanradio (talk) – originally posted to Flickr as The Juvenile House Martin and uploaded to commons as Riparia_riparia_-Markinch,_Fife,_Scotland_-flying-8.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16507846
Dear Readers, a few months ago we had a quiz on autumn migrants to the UK but now, as the seasons turn, they are leaving and the spring migrants are arriving. So, this week, can you match the name of the bird to the photo? I have only chosen birds that are summer visitors only (in some species there are residents and migrants), but even so there are still twenty species, so just as well I’ve given you a week :-). I have also been cheeky and sometimes chosen two closely-related species just so that you don’t get bored.
As I was preparing the quiz I noticed two things. Firstly, there are a lot of summer visitors, especially amongst the ‘little brown jobs’ such as the chats and the warblers, so I am going to do a separate quiz on this bunch in a few weeks for the masochists among you. Secondly, spring is such an exciting time for birdwatchers in the UK! With any luck we’ll be able to get out and about a little bit more this year, Covid willing. I have never noticed the comings and goings of creatures as much as I have this year, and there is something rather nice about tuning in in this way. I’m sure a lot of those reading this will have had similar experiences. Earlier on this week I was asking about those ‘magic animals’ that turn up rarely, but when I was watching my hairy-footed flower bees earlier this week, I thought about how precious those ‘regular’ creatures are too.
As usual, the solutions will be published next Friday (2nd April) so if you would like to be marked, please put your answers in the comments by Thursday 1st April. As soon as I see any answers I will acknowledge them and then ‘disappear’ them so that they don’t influence other people, but if you’re easily swayed by other people’s brilliance (like me 🙂 ) you might want to write your answers down first.
Match the species name to the photo. So if you think the bird in Photo 1 is an osprey, your answer is 1) A)
A. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
B. Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
C. Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
D. Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
E. Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
F. Little Tern (Sterna albifrons)
G. Garganey (Anas querquedula)
H. Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
I. Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus)
J. Puffin (Fratercula arctica)
K. Great Skua (Stercorarius skua)
L. Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)
M. Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)
N. Arctic Skua (Parasitic Jaeger) (Stercorarius parasiticus)
Dear Readers, everyone did brilliantly this week – Claire got 9 out of 12, Anne got 11 out of 12 and we have joint winners – Fran and Bobby Freelove and Mike at Alittlebitoutoffocus both with 12/12. Well everybody! Let’s see what I’ve got in store for Saturday 🙂
Photo Two By Edward H. Holsten, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org – This image is Image Number 0805048 at Insect Images, a source for entomological images operated by The Bugwood Network at the University of Georgia and the USDA Forest Service., CC BY 3.0 us, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4065666
Dear Readers, I have long been fascinated by the descriptive common names of moths – it’s pretty clear why the one above is called the six-spot burnet, for example. So let’s see if we can match the names in the list below to the photos of the moths. I’ve tried to pick ones where the names describe what you’re looking at, so even if you aren’t familiar with British moths you can hopefully have a go. One thing this quiz has really made me want to do is to get out my humane moth trap to see what’s on the wing at the moment, so watch this space!
As usual, all answers in the comments by 5 p.m. UK time next Thursday (25th March), please. Answers will be posted on Friday 26th. I shall disappear your answers as soon as I see them, but if you don’t want to be influenced, write your answers on a scrap of paper first!
Pick your moth from the list below. So, if you think that the moth in Photo One is a ruby tiger, your answer is 1) a)
Dear Readers, we have a tie at the top this week, with FEARN and Fran and Bobby Freelove both coming in with 16 out of 20, and Mike from Alittlebitoutoffocus only a tiny bit behind with 13/20, so well done everybody – not an easy quiz! Let’s see if I’ve been kinder tomorrow….
1) Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea) – originally from the Italian/Swiss Alps
2) Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) – originally from the Himalayas and mountainous regions of China)3) Himalayan Honeysuckle (Lonicera formosa) – originally from (surprise surprise) the Himalayas
4) Trailing Bellflower ( (Campanula poscharskyana) – originally from the Dinaric Alps in what was Yugoslavia
5) Thale Cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) – a cheeky one! Actually widespread all over Europe, but originally discovered in the Harz Mountains in Germany
6) Fox and Cubs ( (Pilosella aurantiaca) – originally from the Carpathian mountains of Slovakia, Moldova and Romania
7) Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea) from the Italian Alps and Italian Apennine mountains)
8) Gallant Soldier ( (Galinsoga parviflora) – from the Andes
9) Rhododendron ( (Rhododendron ponticum) – from the Himalayas
10) Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) – from the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, Georgia and Armenia
Dear Readers, many of the ‘weeds’ that have made their home in the UK came originally from mountainous areas. But which mountain range did these plants come from originally? One mark for the species, a second mark if you can name the mountain range that they came from.
Answers in the comments by 5 p.m. on Thursday 11th March please – I will unapprove your answers when I see them so that other people can’t see them, but I’m not always the speediest, so write your answers down old-school on a piece of paper first if you don’t want to be influenced.
5) This one has a wide distribution, so can you tell me where it was first found?
Dear Readers, unusually we have a clear and run away winner this week, with Fran and Bobby Freelove not only getting all the insects in the right groups, but naming pretty much all of the species – they end up with 22.5 out of 24 (I was giving one mark for the correct species and one for the correct family). And in the following pack, we have Leo with 12 out of 12 for family ID, Claire with 11 and Mike with 10. It was a very tricky quiz so well done to everyone who took part!
Handy hints: Flies always have those big compound eyes which take up most of their faces (clearly seen in the title photo, and in the marmalade hoverfly). They also always have teeny tiny antennae. Flies also only have two wings, although this isn’t so easy to see in all of the photos.
Moths have thick, extravagant antennae, and no waist at all.
Bees often have antennae with a ‘kink’ or elbow in them, and have small oval-shaped eyes. They can be hairy, but then so can everyone else (have a look at the beefly). They have four wings, which, along with their eyes, is the easiest way of distinguishing them from flies.
Wasps tend to be slender, with a marked ‘waist’, but I think they are probably the hardest group to definitely identify. This is not helped by there being many families of ‘wasps’ – the ruby-tailed wasp in the first photo is in a different family from the other two examples. In this quiz, it was probably easiest to assume that if you didn’t know what it was, it was a wasp.