Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The expedition

A party of two intrepid monster hunters set out. Here are the photos from the expedition:

We were at Pluck lake for around one half hours from around 5.15 till close to seven on Monday evening. Had a good look round wandering round the lake, there was plenty of light and i was fairly warm for April. The lake is approx 155m east to west, 80 m north to south.

[Pluck Pond from satellite this shows the pond with much lower water level than it has at the moment. The water reaches up to the undergrowth on the eastern shore now. It seems close to the size to other water areas such as Roman lake, Staffordshire which have reported crocs.]

No unknown or large animals were sighted but there was some bird life with a goose and some moorhens/coots. There were two of us and we had binoculars so we could keep a reasonably good eye on the lake throughout our visit. Most of the lake/pond is open water but the eastern end has watery reed beds which merge into bushes and trees. In the north-east corner rivulets and gullies connect to the main water. Heavy undergrowth and mud make it an ideal place for an amphibious animal to hide.

I could not get into that area without making quite a bit of noise which might have alerted it. If there was a caiman it could take cover in that area easily I guess. I had discovered that the Spectacled caiman [which grows up to seven feet] is a very adaptable species found in all lowland wetland and riverine habitat within its range in South and North America. It can be found most often in the still water areas of these habitats. This caiman has the widest distribution of any species in the Alligatorinae family. If environmental conditions become too hot, the Spectacled Caiman will burrow into mud and estivate (estivate is to summer what hibernate is to winter). Thus it could have gone into hiding in this area possibly using them same techniques. The Dwarf Caiman was even more prone to hiding and burrowing and is a very nocturnal and it was another popular pet.
" The dwarf caiman’s hefty, bonier scales shield its internal organs from swift waters, rocky river bottoms and such predators as anacondas and jaguars. It has an unusually short, smooth, pointy skull with an upturned snout, a useful adaptation for burrowing into a riverbank or bottom during the day."

On the other hand the goose was also lurking in the reed beds but I suppose it might not have detected the Caiman. If there is a caiman I believe it has dug itself down for warmth and may die soon unless there is a sudden heat wave (in Wales this is unlikely). It simply won't have enough energy to hunt till thee is. It will depend on how much food it has had recently how long it could survive.

One thing which can be ruled out is that I saw no floating logs or anything else likely to confuse someone watching. Two other monster hunters arrived while we were there but they also found nothing and left after a while. Local lads they had been down the pond many times when kids and said it was smaller than it used to be. I had guessed as much that from a stoney area which looked like former lake bed on the south side. They also said the pond was supposed to cover old mine workings so the centre was very deep indeed. That was interesting info.

What adds to the questions on the lake is that someone on the Swansea Evening Post website had stated:

Approximately 2 years whilst walking my dog along the cycle path by the new bridge, opposite Ford's Plasmarl, I Saw a man staring in disbelief in the water, and as I looked myself I saw a tail disappearing into the water. This looked very much like a crocodile tail, which I commented, did you see that, and the man said people would not believe us if we told them, and walked off. So this has not been the first time, as also my wife and myself on another occasion with the dog saw what looked like a log in the water, but it slowly went down, out of sight, and we felt quite spooked. We believe quite strongly there is a crocodile there, and this should be taken far more seriously by the authorities than it is at present. We also do not want our e mail address printed as we would leave ourselves wide open to prank calls jamming up our e mails, but print the letter by all means.
Concerned dog walker, Swansea
The mystery deepens as there is no way a Croc could survive two years in Wales in our cold climate. As I saw no tracks or other traces round the pond so perhaps a large fish seems a likely explanation of what someone saw unless it was an illusion.

Anyway what I have nicknamed the Morfadile remains a mystery. More info from the public is needed hence this blog so if you are in Swansea and you have seen something let us know.

No comments: