Sunday, 4 July 2010

Of sparrows and other rainy day musings.

The Safari is sat here in front of the puter on this very blustery and rain soaked Sunday afternoon; well it sure bears sitting outside! Through the multitude of raindrops on the window we can see the family of House Sparrows clingling to the madly swaying topmost branches of the Silver Birch tree at the bottom of the garden. Grabbing the bins - yes of course they live on the puter table ready for action - they reveal we are mistaken - it's ma 'n' pa Greenfinch and their two nippers.
So just how many sightings of House Sparrow have we had? Time to check the ye olde notebookes from way back when records began.
Dates on which House Sparrows have been seen at Base Camp:-
2005
10, 12 & 13th July
2006
None seen (or if seen not recorded = unlikely given their 'rarity')
2007
10 & 29th June
2008
29th June & 13th July
2009
13 June
2010
27, 28, 29th June
NB - These are the only dates recorded in those years. If H/S were heard before or after work they would have hit the pages, but hundreds could have visited during work time and we'd never have known about them.
We deduce then that there is some post breeding feeding dispersal with adults bring newly fledged young to our feeders then they promptly forget about us! Citizen science eat yer heart out.
Then we got to thinking (ooohhh errrr) about the other stuff in the garden at Base Camp. There must be loads of species we've never heard off lurking in there. We photographed a Sun Fly last week, ID'd by Dean , always grateful for other people to give us the benefit of their experience and superior knowledge, as Cliff has also done for some of our hovers - where do these guys learn this stuff? Not too long ago we thought we were quite a knowledgeable naturalist but just looking closely into the garden here at Base Camp reveals so much stuff that we'll never know the names of, particularly if it is too small/quick/tricky to get decent pics of for others to have a stab at.
Just goes to prove that with wildlife/natural history you can never stop learning.
And the sun has now come out and in the five minutes we've spent in the garden we've found a new species of plant. Growing in the slime caught in the folds of the pond liner is a small specimen of what we believe to be Celery Leaved Buttercup/Crowfoot. Where has that appeared from? Makes you wonder how much seed is actually floating round in the air.
Where to next? More windy Base Camp musings for the next coupla days at least...still listening to the sound of one hand typing.
In the meantime let us know what has been blown into your outback.

4 comments:

Dean said...

"In the meantime let us know what has been blown into your outback."

My garden is the only Yorkshire site for Ivy Broomrape. No signs of it this year yet, though Dave.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

So where's that blown in from Dean?
Not been able to check on the common Broomrape colony 500 yards from Base Camp yet, may belater this week.

Cheers

Davo

Dean said...

Haven`t a clue Dave. All i know, is that it`s a species that`s only usually found around the west of Britain.

Last time i looked at my Common Broomrape site, there was only 1 flower spike.

cliff said...

Re. the Sparrows Dave - I'm just down the road from you & we get Sparrows in the garden pretty much on a daily basis & have done since we moved in & started feeding the birds 6.5 years ago. Somedays we have a dozen or more & during the recent dry weather (he types as it's raining outside), they visit our pond for a drink most evenings - I'll trade you for some of those damselflies you've got as my pond doesn't seem to do it for them :-(

As for the Hover ID's, the names aren't committed to my failing memory, but fortunately I do have some good books.

Cheers

Cliff