Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Hot again and again not just the weather

The Safari set off once again to Patch 1 with the tuneful Blackcap singing away in the distance as another beautiful sunrise was enjoyed.
Nothing else of note was at the Golden Triangle and guess what...we were right - the field has been mown and the Cuckoo Flower is no more and to make matters worse all the grass cuttings had been dumped in Woodpigeon Wood right on a sizeable patch of Hedge Garlic (aka Garlic Mustard) – obviously the mowing team have got it in for Orange Tip butterflies, dunno why cos they are bonny little fellas...the Orange Tips not the landscaping guys...
In the Butterfly Zone we heard a Blackcap singing and then two chacking although one might have been the singer which had moved. The Chiffchaff was still present so hopefully they’ll breed here again this year. Nothing over exciting in the rest of the park this morning, all the Grasshopper Warblers seem to have congregated at the nature reserve where we later learned that 13 had been singing.
No Patch 2 safari this morning as it was off to the dunes with the young lads to meet up with the Dunes Project Officer who was doing a Common Lizard training event.
After a brief introduction to the UK’s reptiles – all six of them – we set off to check out some likely looking sunny slopes and it wasn’t long before the first Common Lizard (aka Viviparous Lizard) was found. This is the only reptile species in the far as is known. Several others were spotted but with it being so warm they were almost finished basking and ready to go off hunting and were quite skittish not really allowing a close approach. We still managed to blast a few shots off. These are two females, we saw a brighter turquoisey coloured male but he was too quick for us!
While we were hunting for the lizards a couple or three Swallows whizzed over the dunes and then one then two Wheatears perched up on the ridge of the nearest house – great garden tick for them if there were interested. A few Meadow Pipits were also seen going over.
We had to go back to work but the boys stayed out and as they walked back home they got news of a Wood Warbler which had been found in a nearby park and they kindly forwarded us the news. As it was almost lunchtime we had the opportunity to twitch this very scarce annual visitor to the Fylde, a bird we didn’t get anywhere near last year. Almost immediately on arriving at the site its lovely sibilant trill was heard (153) but then it went quiet for a while. The lads have a bird song app on their phone and we walked around the park playing the song just once by each little copse. We got a response from the far side of the park by the elevated main road – result but not sure how ethical this is...certainly blasting away continually at high volume might have had the effect of frightening it off. Whatever the ethics we were rewarded by being able to watch it continue to move around the park singing this time without artificial prompting. It was a bit of a bully too as at one point it kicked two Blue Tits out of the tree it was in – wasn’t happy sharing with them at all. Blackcap and Willow Warbler were also heard and we had a fly by from a Holly Blue butterfly – all very tidy in the heat of the mid-day sun.

The a real rarity appeared...a local resident and former ace birder ES armed with his note book from the 1980s, one of the earliest entries in it was a sketch of the Roller he’d found in the same park in September 1982 – those were the days...
The Wood Warbler was certainly ample recompense for the lifts the lads have had in the last couple of days!
Where to next? A morning on the beach tomorrow morning with a group of youngsters, some interesting stuff has been found recently so it should be good.
In the meantime let us know how hot it’s getting in your outback.
And whayhay the ‘black’ UV moth trap lights have arrived so some neighbour-friendly mothing can start asap – the holiday weekend looks as good a time as any!!! No doubt it'll rain now!!!


Anonymous said...

More wanton habitat (floral) destruction by the sound of it there.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, Dave, but they`ve forecast thunder storms for the weekend.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thunder storms - thought as much wonder if yuo can trap moths in the garage?



Warren Baker said...

Excellent! A Wood Warbler, nice one dave, I once had one on my patch, but I think that will be a one off !

cliff said...

Nice Lizards Dave!!

Thanks for the text re. the Wood Warbler, sadly I didn't have time to pay Watson Rd a visit, I note there's now one at the park, I may nip down there in the morning.