Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Attacked at Base Camp!

The Safari was sat out in the hot heat and high humudidity waiting for it to happen...Then it DID...a Clegg, aka Horse Fly landed on us!
Oh no don't tell us that Base Camp's garden is going to become a no-go area.
We're now sat there scared stiff with one eye on the blue sky and multitude of con trails, the other eye on the look out for horrors landing on exposed flesh. Suppose we could always cover up but that would defeat the whole point of summer.
So while we're sat watching the con trails evaporate waiting for the Red Kite, Black Kite, Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Goshawk, White Stork, Black Stork, Crane, or whatever else deigns to break the monotony of one Swift, happens along we got to thinking how Humans coped with the bitey things in our distant past. cos no matter where you go they are there.
Ticks, Fleas, Horse Flies, Mosquitoes, Tsetse Flies, Black Flies, Leeches, even the Scottish Mighty Midgy (about which my brother said he'd rather be eaten by a Tiger at least you'd only get bitten once). We remember only to well a field trip to the Fens in Cambridgeshire where all our bare flesh was just about covered in Mosquitoes our hands looked like we were wearing Mosquito gloves! Don't tell me we need to rummage out the tropical holiday insect repellent just to sit out at Base Camp...oh noooooo...and still no sign of any of those large winged things listed above. Just how did we manage as a species before DDT and DEET?
Maybe we used plant extracts as repellent possibly from species like this rare Lancashire plant, Tubular Water Dropwort, seen here as a specimen in Base Camp's pond grown from wild collected seed.

Now another disaster has struck - the seat on the garden bench has disintegrated!...Total , total calamity.

If we sit on the good side (how long will that survive?) our kit and notebooks etc are on the bad bandaged lefthand side so not easy for a quick grap should a wandering wonder from the earlier paragraph actually put in an appearance. Now that National Insect week has finished we've started to get some good insect action! Half a Blue Tailed Damselfly has been found on one of the Lily leaves.

But is the Pond Skater guilty, has he left that wing at the scene of the crime and is backing away surreptitiously or is he the detective coming to investigate?

Whilst watching this Syrrphid hoverfly (Marmalade Fly?) sun bathing we noticed behind him was the first of this year's Poecilobothrus nobilitatus is doing his dance on the Lily padsThe males have the longer white tipped wings - all important in that wing buzzing display dance they do. The females are more normally proportioned and obviously lack the white tips.

Great excitement...six Oystercatchers flew inland at height piping as they went AND at the same time a Speckled Wood flitted through the garden. Despite being less than a mile from the sea Oystercatchers are a rare bird over Base Camp. More excitement...a Small Tortoishell flitted through but like the earlier Speckled Wood wasn't tempted by our variety of flowers to stop and have a glug of nectar.
Where to next? More of the same for at least a week or so, hope you can stand the ever increasing excitement!
In the meantime let us know what's so exciting in your outback
Cooo that lot took bally ages to rattle off...the next few missives might well be shorter if not to ache in a quiet corner now....


Warren Baker said...

Keep at it at Base camp Dave. You'll be amazed waht can turn up when you put the time in, Ive had the Red Kite :-)

Anonymous said...

Dave, your hoverfly is Helophilus pendulus (Sun Fly). Bit of a misnomer that, has the larvae are aquatic.

Phil Dickinson said...

We (Royal) live South shore, over bridge from Solarium, and get regular flights of Oystercatchers overhead. One particular around 01:00 am you could almost set your watch by.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thanks for popping in Phil - I'd be in the Land of Nod at 01.00hrs Oystercaatchers or not!!!