Friday, 30 April 2010

♫ There’s nothing like a newt ♫

The Safari had a work related site visit in the warmth of the afternoon sun yesterday. The venue was our supposed snake pit…yet again no snakes…to find one we’re gonna be very lucky but you never know…
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.
PS the squares in the title are supposed to be musical quavers - they show on the blogger dashboard.


Stu said...

Enjoy the garage painting..........sometimes I'm glad we don't have a garage. If it rains we get a free carwash but in winter scraping off the snow and ice is pain in the a**e.

Warren Baker said...

The smell of poplar resin - is that the oniony smell I can never locate ?

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Stu - far too much cr*p in the garage to contemplate getting a car in there! Doors still need painting though...btw it rained!

Warren - you sur one of your neighbours insn't rustlingh up some rich gravy or summat - will close eyes and think of onions next time I'm passing Magpie Wood and let you know.



Monika said...

They show up as musical notes to me - but inquiring minds want to know: how did you do that?!

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Warren - didn't get omions this morning but scent wasn't as strong, you could well eb right though.
Monika - I usually rite my garbage in Word, so used the insert symbol function, then copy and paste in to blogger - don't ask why cos I don't really know!?!

Dog sitting for some mates last night & today so no proper Patch 1 walks but did add whitethroat to the WT list