Saturday, 5 June 2010

Damsel jiggy jiggy

The safari seems to have leapt in the popularity stakes according to Fatbirder, so we would like to say thanks to those new readers for dropping in and welcome - hope you enjoy the drivel wot we rite about our 'everyday' wildlife adventures. If there are any youngsters dippin in don't be scared of being a nerd! A lifetime of enjoying wildlife will give you experiences 99.999% of chavs will never get anywhere near. One of you could be the new Packham, Humble or even dare we say his name...Attenborough.
In the meantime we were out late on Patch 1 last night and got a double mammal whammy with both Fox and then Hedgehog being scored...great stuff but more about our local Foxes in a mo.
This morning our Patch 1 visit was a couple of hours later than normal. Our mystery plant has now flowered - expect the Council mowing man to appear at about 08.00 on Monday morning! Dean did ID it for us but embarrasingly we've gone and forgotten...over to you again Dean...sorry.

Back on the park we had a nice selection of singing stuff with Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler all piping up. Must admit we weren't expecting the latter but was secretly hoping for the Lesser Whitethroat to prove it's still about. A family of freshly fledged spotty Robins were being fed on the top of the kiddies goal-posts by ma 'n' pa - which was nice.
The small field adjacent the Golden Triangle (quiet) gave us our first Small Copper of the season, spankingly fresh but quick off the mark successfully avoiding the lens on several occassions before being lost to view in the long grass. The Creeping Buttercups are a joy to behold on this small patch of grassland and the White Clover will burst into flower in the next couple of days - like we said before the mowing man cometh so no flowers for the struggling Bumble Bees - we are sure that is half their problem, too much 'tidying up', can't have nice nectar rich colourful flowers NOT in the grass - that'll never do!!!!
Back at Base Camp we staked out the pond for any more Large Red Damaselflies - none today as usual. But the Blue Tailed Damselflies do an interesting little dance we've not noticed before - must have seen it but not actually NOTICED it. When they are flying around 'normally they go straight and their abdomen is stretched fully out. However, when battling with a rival they hand the blue bit at the end of their abdomen downwards at right angles and they f;y in little vertical jiggles - weird or wot? We then saw a teneral (= freshly emerged) female(?) that warmed up by facing side on to the sun then moved to be perpendicular to the sun but put its abdomen right up in the air and wiggled it about from time to time - wafting pheremones?. Having worked on several wetland reserves, been fishing for 35 years, walked up and down hundreds of miles of rivers and canals we must have seen literally millions of damselfies but we have never seen this before! Just goes to show how much there is to learn, and that only 5 feet from the kitchen door!
Then we got a call about a report of some dead Foxes on Patch 1 and could we help investigate - of course we could. Initial thoughts were a lunatic poisoner was at work. We couldn't find them. Some youngsters showed us a couple of blobs of Fox fur but we're pretty sure these were quite old as there was moss stuck to them...mystery unsolved, will fill you in if we get more info. Certainly hope there isn't a 'vermin' poisoner at large cos Foxes ain't vermin! while out on the carcass hunt we spotted the male Sparrowhawk, a handful of Specked Wood butterflies and our first Silver Y moth of the year. The Chiffchaff sang briefly just before we saw a new family of Long Tailed Tits out and about. And then another weird sighting - sorry if this was you, if it was let us know - we copped a bloke we didn't know tanking down the hill on his bike; nowt unusual in that but this chap had a pair of Swazzas round his neck...who was he, where had he been/was he going and what had he seen?
All in all a bit of a weird day's safari-ing but that's they joy of watching wildlife - you just don't know what's coming round the corner!
Where to next? Off out safari-ing to get some more year ticks - Monika is getting too far ahead on her mega adventure!
In the meantime let us know what you've noticed that's new to you in your outback


Craig said...

Hi Dave,

If theres someone out there setting poison.....i hope they meet an oncoming lorry.
Ive sent you a question by email.

best wishes,

Monika said...

I love stories like the one of your new damselfly discovery within 5 feet of your kitchen door. I wish more people would realize the wildlife discoveries that await them in their backyard! Most people know more about the exotic animals of Africa or some such than the birds that nest in their do we change that?

Warren Baker said...

The popularity of your blog refects the work you put in dave, hardly miss a day. I always dip in for an update!

Craig said...

Hi Dave....MEGA RARITY ON MY BACK WALL, before you laugh, its a huge rarity for my garden....a Goldfinch yes yes.
p.s. I echo Warren`s words too, i also look forward to your posts.
Your a great ambassador for the nature we love.

best wishes,

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Monika - I wish more people would realise the wildlife discoveries that await them in their backyard! - totally agree - I blame the great David Attenborouigh, do you know him over there.

Warren - it ain't work - it's love! thanks for dippin in daily - wouldn't dare miss a day at Pittswood it's become my soap opera!! Great stuff you do away down there with all those tropical exotics.

Craig - I'm surprised goldies are a mega at your gaff. All I ever wanted to be was an ambassador for wildlife glad you think I have qualified. Sorry to disappoint you on the pipit front yesterday. Really hope the kid we were chatting to on the mere this arvo keeps his interest going.

Cheers all


Dean said...

Common Wintercress. Sorry it`s took so long Dave. Been a bit too busy.