Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flora and Fauna of Regency England

by Ann Lethbridge
Having just got back from Britain, I experienced June's Flora and Fauna first hand and took lots of pictures. But there is news on the Fauna front I could not resist.

The Great Bustard

is back. I am sure you have seen the news. The Great Bustard was formerly native in Great Britain and a bustard forms part of the design of the Wiltshire Coat of Arms which were awarded in the 20th century by the way so not Regency.

The bustard was hunted out of existence by the 1840s.

The male bird is described as the heaviest living flying animal. It has an eight foot wingspan. It's habitat is open grassland, which means Wiltshire would be ideal, although it can be found on undisturbed cultivation.

It has a stately slow walk, and tends to run when disturbed rather than fly. It is gregarious, especially in winter. This species is omnivorous taking seeds, insects and other small creatures, including frogs and beetles.

I assume this would have been a common game bird for our Regency era, and probably like turkey would have made good eating. Recipes anyone? All right, it is a joke.

Now for the interesting part to me. While we were in Dorset we visited Kingston Lacy. ~ more about which you will be hearing and seeing in due course. But there, in a glass case, stuffed, was a Bustard.

Can't say I was really pleased to see him there, but I was glad of the evidence shall we say. No data, dates or information, but clearly they have been around for a while.

The last bit of my post, another picture of the fauna of England in situ will have to wait. My desktop computer has finally croaked its last, it did so half way through this post, can you believe, and must now be replaced, but all the pictures are hooked up to it, so I am going to post this, late, and get in my care and take the cpu in and get a new one. Oh my poor pocket book. But needs must.

Until next time, Happy rambles. The next post will be next week since no doubt getting set up is going to be a headache.