Saturday, 19 March 2011

Horses for courses

The Safari went out alone this morning, no Frank, as we had a survey to undertake and need all hands for pens, clip-boards etc.
The dawn dawned almost frosty, certainly chilly enough for the breath to be seen from these ponies
Backlit by the low sun their manes and tails caught the dawn light.
They're a fairly friendly much but seruiously overgraze the field they are kept in and in recent years have all but demolished the patch of the rare for Lancashire wetland plant Tubular Water Dropwort (could be Fine Leaved Water Dropwort as that grows locally too and we've forgotted which grows where) and have spread the aggressively invasive none native Crassula helmsii in to the wet area in which the former grows/grew too.

The Reed Bunting we spotted last week was still singing from the same the bush. The same female Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming on the same dead branch - we were beginning to get a sense of deja vu...then we found a Coal Tit - not sure how regular they are here as despite it being only a short stone's throw from Base Camp we rarely visit.
This is the only pond on this section of the North Blackpool Pond'll soon be time for an amphibian survey, maybe later this week?

On the way back we had a fly over Jackdaw, not unusual in itself but we did have a further four over Base Camp later in the morning whilst doing our first gardening stint of the year.
Back on the survey we watched a flighty fight from two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and surprisingly another a few hundred yards further on...wasn't expecting to find that many!
That was about it for the birds, we're certain we undercounted the Magpies, Starlings and Woodpigeons; Blackbirds too, there seemed to be one in every tree and under every bush, the winter doesn't appear to have affected them at all.
Whilst counting the birds once again we almost stepped on another Bee Orchid.

At Base Camp the sudden noise of the gulls lifting off the office roof had us reaching for the bins and sprinting outside...Buzzard eventually located heading off northwards.

Despite the lovely sunshine we didn't see any bees or butterflies in the garden today.

Where to next? An early start for safari away down south tomorrow, meeting up with some old friends to hopefully find some quality birds including one target species in particular.

In the meantime let us know who's horsing around in your outback.


cliff said...

I wish one of those woodpeckers would make the short trip to my garden sometime, I'd love to see one visiting the feeders. We are getting Coal tits again after them being absent during harsh weather in Dec/Jan.

Monika said...

Thanks for the horse photos. I used to be a horsey girl, and I miss it! It's amazing that they look so different from most of our horses,though maybe it's just the long hair.

I hope you found your target species today! I look forward to reading about it.