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:-
10, 12 & 13th July
None seen (or if seen not recorded = unlikely given their 'rarity')
10 & 29th June
29th June & 13th July
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.