Monday, 2 March 2009

Some pics from the weekend's safari

There were signs of spring all around on this weekend's safari.
Blackthorn was starting to flower.

These are Alder catkins, one of last year's 'cones' can be seen bottom centre.

Diffferent catkins - these are from a Willow tree, we didn't check which species.

Even the Hawthorn was beginning to come into leaf. a tad early methinks, March always seems to throw a cold frosty or even snowy week at us which damages or even kills soft new growth like this. I have regularly seen Sand Martins at the end of the month fresh in from sunny Africa huddled together on a wire in a snow storm - probably wishing they'd stayed in Africa another week or so!

Every morning now the local gardens and parks are alive with birdsong, the five coo 'song' of the Woodpigeon is very evident as they are numerous in the vicinity of Base camp.

A pair of Stonechats are always nice to see - they will be off to their breeding territories inland before too long. This is the male, the female was camera shy.

Long Tailed Tits are one of the safari's favourite birds, really tiny, nothing more than a ball of feathers on a stick! But full of character and always none-stop so it was nice to fluke this photo and fortunately its in focus too.

Out on the water at Marton Mere nature reserve the numbers of Great Crested Grebes are building up, here are a winter and summer plumaged pair(?)

As with the Woodpigeons the luscious song of the Blackbird fills the dawn air. They are even more numerous then the former and beat them hands down in the musical stakes, one of the best songs in Britain, if not the best although there may be a lot of votes for the 'bubbling of Curlews over the moorlands.

On a totally different tack, the safari's Land Rover now has its wellington boots fitted, gone are the wussy road tyres in their place are the set of mud terrains from Discovery1. This weekend could see a visit to a quarry for a bit of off road driving practice, mud and fun at a place we've not tried before...looks to be some tricky bits to conquer...
Where to next? Strong south westerly winds are forecast and could be promising off the prom.
In the meantime let us know what's singing its heart out in your outbacks dawn chorus.

No comments: