Monday, 27 June 2011

Hot n cold

The Safari’s day dawned very warm and our early morning Patch 1 visit was done in tee-shirt sleeves and we still managed to get a sweat on after not too many minutes.
Blackbirds were the most notable species with a couple on the grass by the Golden Triangle followed by another singing in the Butterfly Zone and then even allowing for a little double counting, over twenty in the park proper, many of which were well grown juveniles.
Patch 2 was a flat calm with the tide just about full although today’s tide was about as low as a high tide gets if that makes sense. Visibility wasn’t brilliant but at least there was no shimmer and the sea wall was very comfortably warm to lean on – unlike the depths of winter when many insulating layers are needed to keep out the icy cold of the concrete. We didn’t see the Bottle Nosed Dolphins which were seen across the bay at Hilbre Island yesterday...we live in hope. A distant Grey Seal grappled with a large fish while closer in an early sign of autumn was a Great Crested Grebe still in full summer garb.
By lunchtime the tide was well on its way out but day-trippers and fishermen kept any birds at bay. Two of the tourists found a small Lion’s Mane jellyfish but risked life and limb in blissful ignorance as they prodded it with their flip-flopped feet – didn’t they realise it could have leapt off the sand and gone for their throats!!!
In the afternoon we had a school group come down for lightening raid on the habitats and ransack the pond. The remains of a Herring Gull were found stashed under the hedge, our local Fox must have been sneaking around recently. The bit of Herring Gull we found was the left primaries viz: P8,9 & 10 and number 10 showed the slightly unusual all white tip with just the tiniest fraction of black on the inner web above the tip. Beginning to think full white tips to P10 in Herring Gulls isn’t actually that unusual, wonder what percentage of the local population actually have it.
The most unusual thing they hauled from the depths of the pond was a small Common Darter nymph, probably a year old, unusual in that the pond is so isolated from other waters it’s surprising a dragonfly could find it to lay her eggs in.

By the end of the school's vsit the clouds had rolled in and the wind changed to northerly so while parts of East Anglia and the East Midlands basked in steamy tropical 30+C here it plummeted to a more normal 16C...brrrr
Where to next? Blitz blitz Bioblitz tomorrow at a previously unexplored location.
In the meantime can anyone help with these micros from base Camp the night before last – many thanks. The forst two pics are the same individual and could well be the same species as the next one down on the blue background.






Dean said...

Hi, Dave. For what it`s worth my suggestions are ;
1, 2 & 3 : Chrysoteuchia culmella.
4 ; Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix
5 : Marbled Orchard Totrix
6 : Cnephasia sp (not an easy group to do on external features).

Barry Dyson said...

Hi Dave,

I agree with Dean except for the last one. I find 'Aerial'shots are more difficult to ID than profile but think it is a Celypha striana.


Dave Barker said...

Hi Dave
Totally amazed when I got home today at 5.30pm in Blackpool. Walked into back garden and a Hummingbird Hawk Moth was on the honeysuckle. By the time I had got the camera and went back out it had gone. Will keep my eye out though and try and get a photo if poss.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Barry, Dean many thanks - our county recorder agrees with Barry on the last one - sorry Dean

Nice one of the local youngsters got a pic of one laying an egg(!) on Heron's Reach a week or so ago see here