Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Not at all like yesterday

The Safari was involved with a pond dipping session by some of our Cub Scouts and others last night and our little pond is suffering a ‘hang-over’ this morning. Plenty of 3 - Spined Sticklebacks were netted including lots of this years fry which will account for the lack of smaller invertebrates – they’ve been eaten! A small number of Water Boatmen were caught along with just a solitary Backswimmer. Best captures in our opinion were the grey Flatworm and the very tiny, dark red Water Mite. One of the group caught a damselfly nymph so there must be some hatching still to happen if the weather ever warms up. On the terrestrial side we had a good look at the bees on the wildflower patch and found a good selection, Common Carder Bee, Red Tailed Bumble Bee, Buff Tailed Bumble Bee and White Tailed Bumble Bee (2 species?). No Colletes succintus though so it might have been a bit late in the day or too still too cold even though the sun had come out for the visit. A few Common Meadow Grasshoppers were potted and a Brown Froghopper jumped ship before the lid went down on the pot. Orange Skirted Slugs seemed to be very popular with the youngsters.
Nothing of note for the Safari on Patch1 this morning. No Peregrines, no Sparrowhawks, barely a Woodpigeon today. A Blackbird with a beakful of worms heading into the shrubbery was probably the sighting of the walk.
We didn’t get a Patch 2 early morning do…due to the weather conditions – heavy rain! At lunchtime we did manage to get over the road for a few minutes and immediately noticed that it was a lot quieter than yesterday, not a lot about at all on the rising tide. A very distant Gannet, a very distant Common Scoter, a very distant Manx Shearwater was yer lot! Closer in we saw just three Common Scoters bobbing up and (mostly) down on the waves and as we turned to leave our friend the Grey Seal bobbed up very briefly. This annoyed the fisherman stood next to us; he had a little rant about it being a nuisance as he and his mates never catch anything when it’s about. They didn’t seem to twig that it’s sat about 300 yards further out than they can cast. Nor does it leave bits of Lugworm scattered all over the floor – what a waste – along with bundles of newspaper, plastic bags and other litter which all ends up getting blown in to the sea. Neither does it leave lengths of broken line with hooks snagged in the sand on the beach waiting to spear the next passing child, dog, gull etc. What is it with people and wildlife getting in the way of their hobby? Recently not too far from here three almost fledged Peregrine chicks were shot dead in their nest - allegedly by the racing pigeon fraternity…an absolute disgrace from people who are using another species of ‘wildlife’ to try to make themselves some money. And anyway the few Pigeons the Peregrines catch are probably knackered or lost and therefore no good to those who want to make money out of them or just in the wrong place at the wrong time ie plain unlucky. No need for the slaughter – just hope the evil sh*ts get caught and then prosecuted properly…won’t be holding our breath…!!!
Enough of the rant – well not enough - really need more right-minded individuals to rant against these low-lives and their antiquated Victorian attitudes.
No other news from the prom though; that was it! Disappointingly much less than expected.
Where to next? Anywhere with a bit of sunshine might make a refreshing change.
In the meantime let us know if the sun still shines in your outback.
And finally Anno has very kindly photoshopped yesterday's Small Copper - many thanks.


Warren Baker said...

There are still alot of ''scum'' out there Dave - unfortunately.

I recntly read about a gamekeeper getting an 1100 quid fine for nine months of killing Raptors with posion bait! Bloody judges are all shooters I think :-(

cliff said...

Dave - re - "Buff Tailed Bumble Bee and White Tailed Bumble Bee (2 species?)" -
Yes, Bombus lucorum(White-tailed) & Bombus terrestris (Buff-tailed).

re your mention of Froghoppers, I've just got an ID for a Froghopper wasp (Argogorytes mystaceus) we had in the garden a couple of months back, apparently it hunts froghoppers, often burrowing into cuckoo spit to get the young bugs - so one to watch out for at your gaffe.

BTW - a nice bit of photoshoppery by Anno to get rid of that pesky blade of grass on the Small Copper.