Category Archives: iphones / itouch for naturalists

Best wild mushrooms app for iphone

iPhone Screenshot 4

I’ve just downloaded the fantastic new mushroom app Wild Mushrooms of North America and Europe by Roger Phillips with its huge database of more than 2,400 photographs of over 1,550 wild mushrooms.  The app features edible, hallucinogenic, poisonous mushrooms, truffles and brackets, collected in the wild by the famous Roger and many other senior mycologists from both America and Europe. In addition to showing detailed photographs of the mushrooms from different angles, there’s loads of helpful information to help with identification, including a very useful key system which wil help you whiitle down choices; (details of size, shape, color, habitat). There is also a sign on each picture to quickly give you the idea of danger or edibility.

A total, total bargain at £1.19 from the app store.

British trees on the iphone

Treed is the best tree app I’ve come across. It’s basically a field guide to trees found growing naturally in the British Isles. The new version features all native species, plus most naturalised ones. There’s a very a handy key which helps narrow down identification automatically (you just have to click on leaft type, bark etc). Great stuff.

Trees included in this version:

Alder, Ash, Beech, Silver Birch, Downy Birch, Box, Purging Buckthorn, Alder Buckthorn, Blackthorn, Gean Cherry, Bird Cherry, Ornamental Cherry, Crab Apple, Wild Pear, Dogwood, Elder, Wych Elm, Smooth-Leaved Elm, White Elm, Common Hawthorn, Midland Hawthorn, Hazel, Holly, Hornbeam, Horse Chestnut, Juniper, Common Lime, Broad-Leaved Lime, Small-Leaved Lime, Field Maple, Pendunculate Oak, Sessile Oak, Scots Pine, London Plane, Black Poplar, Aspen, White Poplar, Sea Buckthorn, Rowan, Wild Service Tree, Whitebeam, Spindle, Wayfaring Tree, Guelder Rose, Sweet Chestnut, Sycamore, Walnut, Crack Willow, White Willow, Goat Willow, Osier, Bay Willow, Yew

More here

Best birdsong app for iphone

The best British birdsong app for iphone available at the moment is the onomatopoeically-named Chirp! Bird Songs of Britain and Europe

You can listen alphabetically, by song type and commonness, but best for all for me is the quiz which is completely addictive. The commonest British and Northern European birds are featured, with more birds promised soon in the updates.

This is a really great app for learning about birdsongs. Well done to the bright spark who made it. More here from itunes

See also wildflowers app

Best wildflowers app for iphone

I’d like to thoroughly recommend the superb wildflowers app for iphone/itouch with its wonderful ID key. The app includes more than 1000 wildflowers of France and Western Europe, which means the vast majority of British wildflowers are featured. You can choose between English, French and German.

I’ve been using it for some time and updates with new species are regularly provided. For the future, could do with some distribution maps but this is a fab start.

Guaranteed to get you out there identifying stuff. More here

Forgot to mention: you can also add notes about each species (where you saw it etc) which I’m finding very useful.

Best wildlife iphone apps

A few good wildlife apps for iphone / itouch are starting to trickle onto the market. An interesting one is the Collins British Wildlife Photoguide, priced at £5.99 which is an app version of a large book. The Guardian notes “Arranged by taxonomy – mammals, invertebrates, butterflies and moths, birds and so on – it features photos and brief descriptions of over 1,500 species. The navigation is a bit fiddly and there’s no identification feature, so you need to know what you’re looking at or be willing to scroll through several pages to get a match.”

There is also a very nice little app which is a guide to all of Britain’s native trees. Very easy and slick design make identification loads easier and lighter than carrying around a hefty guide book!

When are they going to produce an app for the Collins bird guide, meanwhile though I like Chirp! Bird Songs of Britain and Europe very much with its maddingly bird addicative quiz.

My favourite though is the superb wildflowers guide with its wonderful ID key. Guaranteed to get you out there IDing stuff.

I also want to recommend the complete Wikipedia Encyclopedia app, myfavourite mobile application of all time. Although it doesn’t have photos and is a bit clunky, it includes stacks and stacks of information on the natural history of the Britsih Isles.. Warning takes some time to download, but it’s worth it. Also includes millions of articles from around the world without worrying about data roaming fees. I find it incredibly useful when travelling, or for resolving discussions in bars, and above all for learning about something in situ. This year for instance I enjoyed reading about puffins, 30 minutes after watching them on the Isle of Lunga off Mull.

Since the Atlantic Puffin gets the majority of its food from diving it is important that there is an ample supply of resources and food. Different environmental conditions such as tidal cycle, upwellings and downwellings contribute to this abundance. In a study published in 2005 it was observed that Atlantic Puffins were associated with areas of well-mixed water below the surface. This study implies consequences for the species if impacts of global warming lead to an alteration of tidal cycles. If these cycles are modified too much, it is probable that the Atlantic Puffin will have a difficult time locating food resources. Another consequence of an increase in temperature could be a reduction in the range of the Atlantic Puffin, as it is only able to live in cool conditions and does not fare overly well if it has to nest in barren, rocky places, and an increase in temperature could thus squeeze the zone of puffin-suitable habitat as warmer biotopes expand from the equator but the polar regions remain barren due to lack of historical accumulation of topsoil. From the Encyclopedia app