Sunday, 20 September 2009

It's all happening

Bit of a mish-mash today I'm afraid. AND within a stone's throw of the Safaris front door there are some real quality bird. Green Woodpecker, Great White Egret, Yellow Browed Warbler and a Long Billed Dowitcher with a Nightjar a bit further afield - what is it doing on the Bearded Tit's grit tray??? -so a UK bred not too distant but really rare round here, a couple of southern Europeans, a Sibe and a Yank all within 10 miles of each other if that - we must be at the crossroads of the planet!
Last night was National Moth Night and in true NMN form it peed it down just before dark to dampen everyone's spirits! But the rain stopped and we headed on out to the nature reserve. As it happened there were more moth'ers than moths. So we took to trying to find the full set of Banded Snails ie pink, brown and yellow forms with 0,1,3 and 5 stripes of both the White Lipped and the Black Lipped species. Didn't do too bad on the Blacks but the Whites are harder to come by on the reserve.
The moths were very disappointing for a mild, muggy dark night but strangely they did a Noah's Ark for us and came in in pairs. We had 2 Snouts, 2 Silver Ys and 2 what I'm pretty sure were old worn and tatty July Highfliers, a couple of as yet unidentified Plume Moths and a single specimen of the ubiquitous Light Brown Apple Moth. Chuck in a sackful of Daddy Long Legs and a few Caddis Flies and that was about it, not all that spectacular.
The bat detectors were quiet too for a long time. Then we started to get hits and a walk to the bushes at the water's edge eventually gave us three Pipistrelles flying around together. I tried the wobbly bit of grass head held high trick to no avail. Toads were a bit easier to find especially as two had climbed up the straining struts on a nearby fence post - why? By the time my camera was sorted the larger had jumped off. Our intrepid Junior Ranger disappeared in to the darkness and came back with a small Frog, but with still no sign of any more moths we called it a night.
Dawn this morning was a glorious affair as Frank had his morning constitutional.. But I missed the best bit by five minutes. The bizarre huge white building at the end of the road is 'affectionately' known as Mount Fuji!The hills of the Forest of Bowland can just be made out above the roof tops. But we couldn't see the Lake District fells to the north for the haze. My brother is there today running the Langdale Marathon, allegedly the hardest road marathon in the world.
The park had only a few Robins this morning compared to the other day but a good number of Wrens which I was unable to count by being distracted by other dog walkers (got to 7 but there were probably at least half that again). A Mistle Thrush half-heartedly gave a snatch of song, the first record since the late spring after the breeding pair moved on. At least 15 Long Tailed Tits zipped from bush to bush but too awkward to hold a dog, a bag of doggy do-do and a camera all at the same time particularly with a bitch in season in the area over exciting Frank. He may have lost his nads but he sure still knows what to do!
A lone Black Headed Gull dropped in to see if the overnight druggies and associated chavs had dropped anything worth eating.Sun came up good and bright so I sat in the garden and had a brew while the early morning feeding run started. A couple of Goldfinchs and a Blue Tit was all I could muster. A Painted Lady nipped through before eight o'clock - must be quite warm for late September if they are out and about that early on a Sunday morning.

Not the world's best pics I admit.

Where to next? Later this arvo is mission impossible - 0.00000000001% chance of success. Then I'm off twitching!

In the meantime let us know what's about at dawn in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

you're right dave, its all happening!