Sunday, 20 September 2009

Didn't happen

The safari can't believe it! As reported earlier I was out in the garden having a brew earlier this morning and just two Meadow Pipits went over in about an hour and a half. But reading other blogs especially Fleetwwood Birder and Heysham Bird Obs there was rakes of stuff moving but it didn't move over me, JD on the south side a few miles down the other way didn't have so much either - so where did it all go? An Osprey was moving through the area along the coast mid morning, missed that too, would have been a good patch/garden tick.
This arvo's special safari was always going to be a very long shot. The Toads below are our quarry's food.

As are Frogs.And Smooth Newts.You guessed what we were looking for yet? Grass Snakes! Did we find any - you guessed right - a resounding 'no'. There have been no recent authenticated records locally. But at this site a young girl spotted what was 99.9999% deffo one earlier in the year. So it has been a quest to prove it all summer however the weather has been against us all the way. A sloughed skin or hatched eggs would have done us but we didn't see any of these either.
In the course of turning over every rock, log, sheet of plastic etc etc we came across several small mammal nests, some had been raided with the bedding being out from the under the cover. One of the nests had these two headless babies - what was the culprit here? Weasel? Gruesome what ever has done it.Sparrowhawk drifted south, resident or local?
The field we were investigating has a diverse range of wildflowers - it is one of the best areas in town but earmarked for development. A single specimen of Common Centaury was trying to avoid the heavy horse grazing pressure. That's heavy grazing from heavy horses. Few butterflies were about, a Large White, a Red Admiral and this flighty but fresh looking Small Copper was pick of the bunch.

Whilst investigating the dykes that run along the edge of the site a call went out - 'dragonfly'! Looking up a large dragon whizzed past along the length of the dyke. It didn't half look like a Golden Ringed Dragonfly, well it was big with black and yellow strips and I didn't get any blue on it. We charged after it as that would be a real local rarity but we weren't able to relocate it...what a shame that would have been a big bonus find.
We used to call these berries Deadly Nightshade as kids but now know them as Bittersweet from the same family, of course.
To finish with a plummeting Goldfinch from earlier this morning. Pity its not a better quality pic.

Where to next? Well I didn't get a chance to go twitching and most of them have done a runner now anyway but the Green Woodpecker (least exciting of the bunch by a mile - typical) might still be about.
In the meantime let us know what's slithering around in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

A day of ifs and buts Dave. Keep skywatching!!