Dr Who and the Green Tigers of Parys

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 25 April 2010 18:25



More Anglesey I'm afraid. Sussex will have to wait one more day until I get back to work! We visited Parys Mountain on the 21st April, one of the few places on Anglesey I had not been to. It is an old open cast copper mine and has every colour rock and soil you can think of. It looks like some bizarre post apocalyptic nightmare or a strange alien world and has has been used as the location of a number of episodes of Dr Who and such timeless classics like Mortal Kombat 2. Ahem. I tracked down a link which is attached. Enjoy. You can see patches of Heather in the background, the only plant to thrive here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pPp6lzkwlk

This was perhaps most barren place for wildlife I have ever been to. In two hours I saw two invertebrates, the hoverfly Eristalis pertinax and a Green Tiger Beetle despite warm, calm and sunny conditions. The only birds there were a nesting pair of Ravens (try and spot the nest in the photo) and a singing Wren. The shot of the tiger beetle took a little effort, they are really fast ground predators that also fly off quickly when you approach them. With persistence though, when there is limited latent heat (i.e. sunny days in early spring) you can tire them out quickly by casting your shadow over them. That is how I got this shot. Being a visual predator they have binocular vision and a very flat face, a perfect subject for macro photography. The purple colour is not really that visible in the field. A common species associated with bare ground but it's always awesome to see these savage beasts, Dr Who would not stand a chance!

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