Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Back to the old haunts

A brief trip to my old stomping ground, Marton Mere, this afternoon was a welcome change. As was meeting up with an old friend and having a bit of an off piste explore.

I even got a year tick not that I'm listing anymore, but it is quite late to get Grasshopper Warbler for the first time in the year.

The Clegs, aka Horse Flies, were biting feroc
iously. These are my least favourite creature on the planet. Nowhere else I've ever been has anything quite as horrid as these. The Western Australian March Fly is bad but not as bad. The Scottish mighty midgee is more numerous but less painful. Horse flies do have one redeeeming feature. Their eyes are the most stunning colours and patterns, similar to the patterns you get when oil gets spilt on water. Unfortunately they have to be close enough for you to see those colours.

This little devil with the long blood sucking beak is an Australian March Fly - they come out near enough all year round and apparently are attracted to blue clothing - you have been warned.
A bright lemon yellow butterfly was only a Small White in the end. We did see a very fresh and well marked Green Veined White.

Further on we disturbed a Buzzard which dropped in to the ditch and may have been hunting for invertebrates. The hedgerow was the hunting ground for a tatty looking Blue Tit still feeding young.

Only an hour or so out of the office on a windy afternoon, but a good hour nonetheless.

Where to next? Still the Bat walk in Stanley Park, meet at the visitor centre at 9.30pm

In the meantime have a look around your 'outback' and let us know what you find.


babooshka said...

Did you know that cleg is one of only seven norse words that is still in usage in conversation on the Isle Of Man. I recently found out this little fact. The Mere, lovely place. Our reserve here is a lot smaller, but a godsend.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

There is a large Viking heritage in the coastal area of Lancashire and at that time the marhy nature of the environment would have been an enormous Cleg breeding ground. I've no doubt that the Viking settlers to these parts suffered horribly at the hands, or 'teeth' of these little blighters and their name for them has stood the test of time.