Thursday, 17 June 2010

The notebook didn’t get opened

(The Bee Orchid is a bonus for you - totally unconnected with anything written yoday)
Last night we had a safari with a troop of scouts pond dipping and mini-beast hunting. Not as productive as last week despite the warmer conditions. Still a lot of very young Grasshoppers about and more Cuckoo Spit (Froghopper nymphs) than you can shake a stick at – there does seem to be a lot this year, same round your way? – no Turnip Sawflies tonight. The Buff Tailed Bumble Bees were going mad on the Meadow Cranesbill and we managed to pot just one Red Tailed Bumble Bee.
In the pond a few damselfly nymphs were netted along with literally hundreds of 3-Spined Sticklebacks. They are probably the reason that there isn’t much else in there – they’ve eaten it!!!
Above - male
Below - female

The safari had an extremely pleasant walk around Patch 1 this morning without actually getting the notebook out of the pocket. Warm sunshine was order of the day, even at 06.00. Barely a sniff of wind and for a very refreshing change hardly any traffic noise. We ambled round our usual circuit listening to the sounds of the morning. Woodpigeons were cooing, the Wrens were giving it rice, our usual Chaffinch was singing away. One of the Blackbirds took a break from searching for worms on the lawns and spent a little while warbling his fluty song. The wings of a pair of Collared Doves whistled overhead, is it a whistle or more of a two tone hum – certainly no other sounds quiet like it. A Dunnock twittered and a family of Blue Tits kept in touch with their shrill cheeps. A gaggle of Magpies rattled loudly in the treetops; one of the Carrion Crows answered them with a resounding ‘cawww’. We saw a couple of Robins but they were the only birds not singing this morning.
The warmth had the bees out early and standing quietly by some of the flowering shrubs we could hear the busy buzz of activity. Along with the sound of the bees the lack of breeze had the scent of the Elder flowers hanging in the air.
What a lovely morning to be out and about.
Out on Patch 2 it was similarly pleasant just to stand on the sea wall and gaze out westwards over the mirror calm sea. Unfortunately again there was no need to take the notebook out off the pocket. Absolutely nothing out there. A Grey Wagtail went over behind us heading south, first for a while; another sign of ‘autumn’?
The gill-netters were out again. Today’s catch had six or seven young Tope to around 75cm in length and a few decent sized flatties. Hope they aren’t taking any undersized Bass they might catch as they do put a lot of small fish in their bags.
The lunchtime visit was a gloriously sunny and warm affair – a proper summer’s day at last. Sadly there wasn’t anything to trouble the notebook – that Grey Seal must have got wind that we had the camera as it was nowhere to be seen!
Where to next? Yet more of the same but might have a pleasant early morning surprise for you at the weekend; snooze button on the alarm clock permitting.
In the meantime let us know if anyone has been removing the wildlife from your outback.

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