Tuesday, 14 June 2011

And then the sun shone

The Safari was on Patch 1 as usual and as is becoming usual the Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard again. The Sparrowhawk’s tail was seen protruding over the edge of the nest so it would seem the young haven’t fledged just yet.
Of floral note in the park was a specimen of Nettle Leaved Bellflower, a species we don’t recall finding in there before. It’s growing at the base of an old felled Elm tree, all the other stumps are encircled by weedkillered dead vegetation around them, as are the live trees – very pretty – NOT except this one – what’s the point of that unless its to reduce the population on Speckled Wood butterflies which like to lay their eggs in the grass on the sunny side of a tree trunk - wonder if the NLBF will survive to set seed. But is it native native or is it a garden eswcape? you can also see the Elm suckering so the stump isn't all that dead - long may it cccontinue to grow as this is very close to the favoured egg laying tree of the White Letter Hairstreaks.

We met up with AB on the sea wall as arranged but today was a totally different day to yesterday – there was no wind to speak of and even at that earlyish hour we enjoyed lovely bright warm sunshine. Not the best conditions if you’ve come down to the coast especially to see the Manx Shearwaters and perhaps pick up the odd Skua or two. In fact apart from the regular small number of gulls, a couple of Sandwich Terns and a single Common Tern there was naff all! Way out in the developing shimmery haze we saw a large flock of around 200 Common Scoters with dribs and drabs heading towards that general direction, possibly totalling another 100 or so. Certainly the most Common Scoters we’ve seen for some time. No Manxies for AB just a few distant Gannets cruising about and only a little diving from them.

Then on the way to the Land Rover to nick off home we found this pair of touchy -feely Small Tortoiseshells.

Where to next? More of the same with maybe a little pond life thrown in
In the meantime let us know what’s sprouted where in your outback.

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