Plenty of snake scram about in the form of Frogs and Toads and our new amphibian pond is looking good. Hopefully we’ll be able to dig a couple more later in the year.
The butterflies gave us a right good show. We got our first Speckled Woods, Comma, stonkingly vivid male Orange Tip and a rather more sedately patterned Green Veined White.
A Chiffchaff sang in the distance while a Kestrel hovered over the next field. Continuing the raptor theme a Sparrowhawk circled lazily northwards on the afternoon’s thermals. Yes it was that warm - 20ºC and more in our sheltered spot.
Later we visited another recently excavated site with the Lancashire Amphibian Recorder and found not a lot. A few young Frogs from last year and plenty of tadpoles but only one Smooth Newt. Just as we were about to leave our Extreme Photographer called out that he had found a Great Crested Newt. We had just lamped that stretch of the bank and found a few folded leaves of Water Mint concealing eggs but totally missed the huge animal! An excellent find and superb reward for the efforts of all involved with the project…it has done exactly what it was designed to do!
Patch 1 this morning was a dire affair, definitely ‘residents only’ not a migrant to be heard anywhere not even in the Golden Triangle which if it doesn’t buck its ideas up soon will be demoted to the Silver Triangle and perhaps even down to the Bronze Triangle. The Sparrowhawk put in a brief appearance. Pheewww. Best thing wasn’t a sighting, it was a sniffing..the smell of Poplar resin on the gentle morning breeze was lovely.
If patch 1 was bad patch 2 was worse – beyond dire! So much so that that the first thing to hit the notebook was a Lesser Black Backed Gull bathing in the surf as it dribbled on to the beach. 56 Oystercatchers were entered, that’s how bad it was; normally these are, embarrassingly, passed over. 50 of them were in a large flock on a sandbank to the south technically beyond the Patch 2 boundary. Excitement could hardly be contained when two Dunlin flew south while four Whimbrel went north a few feet above them…thrilling stuff…well it was today!
No time for a lunchtime visit.
Where to next? Hmm long weekend approaches, but there is the small matter of the garage doors to paint…let's pray the weather isn't condusive to painting.
In the meantime let us know if it was dire or not in your outback today.