Friday, 4 June 2010

Back on patch

The safari is back at work…doh it don’t half interfere with safari-ing. But that means we are fit enough to resume the patchwork this morning…so was it worth it?
A very pleasant 06.00 tee-shirt sleeved Patch 1 walk give us not a lot but at this time of year that is probably to be expected. A Blackcap sang with what sounded like a sore throat which wouldn’t surprise us as it has been singing non-stop for a good couple of months. A Whitethroat scratched its tuneless ditty a little way further back. Without any significant rain recently the ground is looking hard and dry, this might cause problems for the multitude of Blackbirds out looking for worms to feed to their increasingly ravenous broods. A little rain is forecast for the weekend but it’ll only really wet the surface rather than giving the ground a good soaking.
A young Grey Squirrel narrowly avoided the jaws of one of Frank’s friends after being caught out on the lawns just a bit too far from cover. Luckily Herbie likes to run and chase but didn’t seem to have the catch and kill instinct – not that the poor squirrel knew that. Dogs…don’t you just love em near wildlife!!!
No sign of the Peregrine after yesterday’s sighting but the scattered feathers of what was once probably a Collared Dove showed the Sparrowhawk is still in the area.
With the tide very low Patch 2 at lunchtime was plagued by people and their dogs enjoying the warm sunshine…wish they wouldn’t do that and leave our beach alone!!! Pop-up tents here, there and everywhere, sun bathers, moochers, fishermen, sand castle builders, kite fliers…just get lost back inland will you!!! (And take your litter with you – beach looks like a rubbish dump). Consequently there was nowt on the sands at all. Out to sea we had a flock of about 50 large gulls diving into a shoal of bait-fish. No Gannets and their poor attempts at piracy didn’t attract any Skuas; nor could we see any marine mammals out there. Scanning round we picked up the loneliest Common Scoter in the bay and two Sandwich Terns, which although close to the bait-fish and attendant gulls passed it by without a second glance. A third Sandwich Tern braved the human throngs and flew low over the beach.
The long walk back, it’ll be a good few weeks yet before the new tram tracks are finished and we can cross at our ‘normal’ place, gave us a 2010 rarity – a Swift – they seem in dreadfully short supply so far this year; certainly very sparse around Base Camp, none seen in the vicinity of our rinky-dinky Swift box. Almost immediately after the Swift we had a Swallow blasting north, possibly some late passage still going on.
The Gorse bushes at work held a family party of House Sparrows looking for insects among the prickles…and yes Simon King, when they were in full flower we could smell the coconuts from our office if the windows were open – delicious! Can we have an OBE too please?
On a slightly different tack earlier in the year we were tentatively predicting somewhere in the UK would hit 40ºC this summer, based on el Niño info. It now seems that prediction has been scuppered as the developing el Niño has now waned and is likely to become a la Niña for the rest of the summer…bye bye heat wave…
Where to next? More patchy stuff and a plant to photograph unless the council have mown it – as usual.
Sadly we are unable to go to a totally brilliant National Nature Reserve to gawp uncontrollably at their Ladies Slipper Orchids, and other exotica the site has to offer, this weekend – too risky on the recovering back.
Tomorrow is World Environment Day – what you doin’ to celebrate/promote the event? This year the theme is Biodiversity – not surprising as it is the International Year of Biodiversity – will there be any left by 2011 what with chronic over-fishing, poaching of rare species for their body parts of dubious medicinal effect and just down-right concreting over the best stuff that we do over here.
In the meantime let us know if your outback is overrun with vermin.


Craig said...

Hi Dave,

Im glad your back is better now....i assum you dont want to borrow the "tens machine" off my mate.
Regarding the swifts....i only saw 4 on my trip to Dunsop the other day. (perhaps the 4 might not of been individual swifts?)
Another frustation of the Dunsop visit...i can not decide if i saw a "Tree or Meadow pipit? frustating because.... if it was a tree?...that would be another life tick for me.
Im looking forward to the 15th 16th 17th June...three days of Peregrine paradise at Malham cove.
Im going on those dates because the two chicks should be just about fledged by then.

best wishes,

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anthony said...

Davo - how did you get on with my lizard idents?

Brown and green Anole - pronounced Ano-lay.

great little things have kept the green ones and they are spectacular when the males display with their dewlaps..

hope the backs doin' good...