Sunday, 24 May 2020

Lockdown Day 62 - Remembering the Egyptian Grasshopper

Another in my "Remembering" series today, mainly to escape the awfulness of the news and disgusting behaviour of the Government here in the UK over the past two days.

On our holiday to southern France in April 2016 we took a boat trip from Marseille to the Frioul Islands just off the south coast. Beautiful scenery, picture perfect Mediterranean island. The sea was a bit bouncy though, the wind in that part of the world in Spring can be extremely strong coming in from the sea.




On the islands we walked along the coast a little way, seeing our first Blue Rock Thrush and some Andouin's Gulls. There were also lots of Prickly Pear cactus plants which were quite unexpected, although these seem to be an invasive species.



However, we encountered this lovely creature, an Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium) the the path we were walking.



These are quite a common species in the Mediterranean and are one of Europe's largest grasshopper species, growing up to between five and seven centimetres long. Later on in the holiday we found a few on the harbour front in Marseille.

This was actually my first visit to the Mediterranean, I don't do hot weather very well and our holidays previously and since have been in northern Europe but in April the weather was fine, the temperature around 20 deg C which is just right for me to be able to enjoy things and for outdoor exploration and nature watching. Obviously, any overseas trip will have to wait until the Covid-19 situation has cleared up, but we have a bucket list of destinations we would like to go to including to find tortoises and chameleons in Spain, the Hamsters in Vienna (featured on David Attenborough's Seven Worlds, One Planet wildlife documentary recently ) and the wildlife of Romanian and Estonia among many other places.


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