Friday, 16 April 2010

I’ve got to break free…

The Safari had a modicum of success this morning out on Patch 1. A little later than we normally are but arriving at the Golden Triangle we heard the beautifully summery descending scale of a Willow Warbler. Then another sang from the far end of this excellent scrap of scrub. About time too; but will they stick?
Joy of joys, we heard yet another in the park so a decent bit of an overnight fall – must have come up against that plume of volcanic ash! Not much else to report in there although a miracle happened, two Meadow Pipits flew over! The female Sparrowhawk was making a lot of noise and we followed her through the trees as she made her way to what could be a potential nest site in a lone tall conifer, must remember to take the bins and give said tree the once over.
With a little help from Freddie Mercury (you can’t beat a bit of Queen) we managed to get on to the sea wall, right down at the farthest end. The light was good, the sea mirror calm however nichts was out there. A horribly distant Grey Seal way to the south was about the only thing to be seen. We gave up after a few minutes but as we turned to go back to the Land Rover a Tree Pipit (142) went north low overhead. Can go on the big list but not on the walking list.
Back at work there was more evidence of a fall of Willow Warblers with one singing in the bushes at the southern end of the gardens. Four Linnets in the gardens were possibly migrants too.
We were successful in finding a nearer walkable gap in the Colditz-like defences at lunchtime. And pretty chuffed about it too. We reached the seawall put the scope up and immediately two dabbling ducks flew past, unusual on the sea; were they the same pair of Garganeys that flew past Rossall the other day. Fortunately they landed, a little distant and into the light but grillable and identifiable. Not Garganey, but the golden triangle on the rear end of the male meant they were a pair of the much commoner Teal (75). Not bad for a bonus walking tick and makes up for not being able to 'WT' the earlier Tree Pipit! Little else to make it worthwhile getting the notebook from the pocket.
Here are some pics from yesterday's 'snake' safari...a refugia with an old Short tailed Field Vole's nest under it.A new mossy nest, we actually saw the Vole but it was too quick for us and disappeared down its escape tunnel.The scrape itself is a bit bare at the moment and might need a bit of help with revegetating.Under one of the pieces of broken old drain pipe we found this rather large ground beetle, unsure as to its specific ID at the moment, used to have a copy of Chinnery but it disintergrated through use and we haven't got round to replacing it yet! So answers on a post card please. Despite it being quite bronzy on the abdomen we don't think it is the Copperhead.
In the last pic it's sinking its jaws in to our Extreme Photographer's finger! As mentioned in yesterday's dispatches we had our first Toad of the year.
And finally, this afternoon the work's gardener discovered an abundance of Ladybirds - there were well over a hundred scattered about in the little garden area he was working in, all 7-spot Ladybirds
Where to next? Footy tomorrow, hoping for a win to keep the Seasiders in with shout at reaching the play-offs and we’ll deffo be shouting abuse at Forest the Bear’s brother!
In the meantime let us know if anything has fallen in your outback.
Late update - the beetle is the common and widely distributed across the northern hemisphere - Carabus nemoralis. Is widespread distribution doesn't include the Fylde according to the National Biodiversity Network.
Also Blackcap singing on Patch 1 at last and a Swallow went through.


Warren Baker said...

The willow warblers must fly straight over here without stopping Dave, Only had two Migrants !

Craig said...

Hi Dave,

Congrats on the Willow Warbler, hope they stick around for you.
On my patch....i had my first Willow Warbler (three of them) on 9 April.
First Chiffchaff on 11 April.
No Blackcaps yet.

Today i was driving past your Patch 1 and seen a Kestrel over your patch. (you know how much i like raptors, i can`t get enough of them)

best wishes,