Monday, 1 June 2009

No need to go far

The safari was unfortunately trapped at Base Camp due to a vehicular malfunction (still unresolved!). We did have a treat for you but you will now have to wait until the end of July. We had to stay at home and look after Frank and the Pipster.
The garden at Base Camp is only small but is still a fine and dandy place to watch all manner of wildlife.
A hot sunny day with a clear blue sky and a slight breeze; the hum and murmur of bees and hoverflies were the only sounds. Couldn't hear the multitude of planes going over five miles up.

A Large Red Damselfly held territory over the pond seeing off the smaller Blue Tailed Damselflies.
The Blue Tails manage to breed in the pond despite the four huge Golden Orfes and the three Goldfish.
The Large Red needs to find a friend but it still an unsolved mystery as to where they appear from. Someone not to far away must have them breeding in their garden pond.
The moth trap was fired up over night and although far from bulging in the morning it was the best haul of the summer so far. below is one of the two Clouded Bordered Brindles.

This one is Dusky Brocade - don't you just love moth names!

And this little beauty is a Dark Spectacle. A very nice moth we've not recorded at Base Camp before.

He has a super little tuft.

And yes; he does wear glasses!!!

Painted Lady butterflies continued to pass through and there was a succession of Large Whites with a few Small Whites thrown in for good measure. Best butterfly however was a Holly Blue which seemed to be attracted to my lolly-ice but which eventually after much flittering around landed not on the ice cream but my hand and proceeded to sip the perspiration from my finger tip with its tiny was so delicate I couldn't feel it as it walked arounfd the end of my - but no camera, although if I had have moved I would probably have disturbed it anyway. But all that time I was still nibbling away at the lolly-ice - well I couldn't let it melt 'cos that would have made me all sticky.
A short trip out with Frank revealed a few spikes of Common Broomrape, a parasitic plant which has no need of photosynthesis and so has lost its green chlorophyll.

Plenty of Bush Vetch was in flower.

But best of all was spotting this budding Bee Orchid...the first we've managed to find in several trips despite there being several rosettes in the winter months. Have to wait until next week when we'll find all the ones we've missed easy as wink when they are in full flower. There is usually a good show at this site.

Again there were a lot of Painted Ladies, a Green Veined White, a couple of Speckled Woods and the safari's first pair of Common Blues of the summer.
Back at Base Camp it was getting pretty hot by mid afternoon and the animals had flaked out.
Frank flattened the Thrift as he found the only bit of shade in the garden.

Three Swifts screamed around overhead but I don't think they have spotted their new nest box yet. They seem to be quite scarce this year so far.

The plastic Coot is the worlds best garden pond ornament. He was left all alone in the shop as everyone went for the more colourful ducks...but I like Coots, definitely one of my favourites.

And he provided a bit of shade for a new Frog. This one is much bigger than the usual one that lives in the opposite corner of the pond.

Nicely marked with those blotches.

So there you go - trapped at home but still lots to see..and there was loads we didn't bore you with.
Where to next? Vehicle permitting there could be some good midweek safaris coming up.
In the meantime let us know what's lurking in your back yard.

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