Friday, 6 August 2010

Not what we expected

The Safari had an unexpected visit to Mossom Wildlife Field - yikes twice in a week is about a normal year's worth of visits! So we wandered around. Took the camera in case any butterflies were on the wing but it was too chilly. We did discover that the white flower we saw in the distance last week and told you was Yarrow wasn't - it is Sneezewort! The only insect we saw other than a few bumble bees on the thistles was this Soldier Beetle.
Three Swallows hawked low over the grassland and we witnessed an aerial food pass from an adult to the juvenile - excellent stuff.
More aerial aerobatics occured when a Sparrowhawk diving in to small flock of House Sparrows and Starlings. What a commotion and a lot of squealing from a Starling had the Sparrowhawk nailed it? Cautiously peering round the end of a thicket of bushes we couldn't see anytrhing but then the Sparrowhawk took flight, carrying nothing. We went to investigate but there was no sign of a victim. By chance we saw some leaves move an a bit of a rustle in one of the tightly (over tightly imo) clipped bushes at the roadside, attempting to peer in through a tiny gap in the foliage we disturb a juvenile Starling which shot out squealing like a stuck pig - think it just had the luckiest escape of its short life!
Earlier in the day we learned that there is a small colony of Common Lizards not too far from this site - certainly worthy of investigation,
Later that night Patch 1 gave us BBP and this morning we had a young Fox only a short distance in front of us. Frank missed seeing it but his nose took him to where it had come from - gee he really likes Foxes - his tail don't half wag - bet if he caught up with one he'd lick it to death. All the time we were on the Patch we could here a young Sparrowhawk begging. Plenty of snacks about for it in the form of a mixed flock of Great, Blue and Long tailed Tits, we also heard the 'hweet' of a Willow Warbler/Chiffchaff in there too.
The Blackbirds are hard to spot now they are moulting but rustles, 'tseeps' and 'chackers' coming from the depths of the Brambles suggests they are still around in some numbers. A Wren was still singing away with some effort this morning too. Looking at the water tower on the way back gave us PPEM.
Where to next? The cold miserable seawatch that will be the norm for the National Whale and Dolphin Watch begins early tomorrow morning. If you can't join the Safari please bob along to your nearest coastline with your bins and scope and give the joy of cetacean watching a bash - you never know a Madieran Petrel might flutter past to relieve in excitement.
In the meantime let us know what's been begging in your outback.

1 comment:

Captain Shagrat said...

Well you saved me a job. I took a picture of yarrow a few weeks back and then a couple of days later captured the pretty white flower like yours. They look pretty similiar especially the middle parts but the yarrow is more densely flowered. Although I knew it couldn't be the same plant I couldn't put a name to it. Cheers for that