Sunday, 5 June 2011

Mystery tour

The Safari got off to a poor start today - didn't get out of bed for the early morning North Blackpool Pond Trail bird survey, but Wifey, who took Frank out, told us it was raining quite heavily another survey bites the dust.
Getting up later to make the Sunday special bacon and mushroom panini we nearly trod on this Hoverfly sp, at first we thought it was a Honey Bee but closer inspection gave us its true identity. It was cold and struggling to fly so we opened the front door to let it out and it kindly posed on the step before going on its merry way.

After the obligatory bacon butty we took Frank out on to Patch 1 where we found a new patch of Figwort growing on the sunny side of Magpie/Woodpigeon Wood, we spotted it the other day but it has grown since and we don't remember coming across it in previous years.

Past the last house and just into the cut through into the Butterfly Zone we found this... Absolutely disgusting...what is the freaking point of doing that??? Behind this travesty a (the?) Garden Warbler was singing, is there a pair, have they bred?
Smelling a lot more pleasant, or at least it will when dusk falls, was this new patch of Honeysuckle at the far end ofthe Butterfly Zone; you could say from the ridiculous to the sublime.

And despite the Butterfly Zone didn't disappoint despite the fact it was drizzling and a full 10 C cooler than 24 hours earlier, we spotted a lonely Speckled Wood.

After lunch we tried to find some reptiles but a high security fence prevent access to the site - later we were told we tried to get in a the wrong place, there is a Frank-unfiendly (has stiles) Public Footpath which we should have this space later in the week. Thwarted we went to the nature reserve in a huff.
At the Bird Club Hide a Lapwing was as close as we've seen one for ages and offered super photo opportunities until it saw us move the camera and flew off after only two snaps...good job one of them was half decent.

Also in front of the hide and apparently less bothered by our movements inside this Woodpigeon fed ravenously on 'weed' seeds.

Then it was a walk up to the far end and instread of going round the reserve we headed in the opposite direction up towards the ancient hedgerows where the Rangers had told us there was a decent number of Marsh Orchids, Northern Marsh Orchid we think.

These weren't here when we were in charge of the site.

Nor was the formalised 'duck feeding area' although people did feed ducks from there. A 'guided walk' led by one of the adjacent caravan site's staff turned up and their bread attracted Black Headed Gulls, which the leader described as seagulls and 'flying rats', he also gave a mouthful of duff info about Mute Swans and Mallards. Thankfully he got the difference between Coots and Moorhens correct. We bit our tongue but think we'll have a chat to the Rangers tomorrow.

Then it was on to check out the North Blackpool Pond Trail to see if the Bee Orchids were in flower. We soon found a Broomrape.

As we were getting up from the Broomrape we spotted this Bee Orchid bud just in the nick of time as we very nearly put our elbow on it..that wouldn't have been a clever thing to do would it? Once we'd found the one in bud we had a thorough look around and found this one whose top petal is bent back aout of sight.

Not far away was a third, this time showing the full compliment of petals in view.

On the way back to the Land Rover we past a great wildflower area which is 'managed' by Meadow Ants. The mound of the largest hill is almost as big as Frank...wonder how many years and how many ants its taken to build it.

At the very end of the walk we saw a Whitethroat with a large green caterpillar, churring away but not dropping into the vegetation so as not to give the location of the nest.

Forgot to mention yesterday that in the blistering sun of the Butterfly Zone we had a Painted Lady which was quite a pleasant surprise.

Where to next? Back on the patches for the rest of week and maybe some seashore stuff too.

In the meantime let is know what narrowly escaped an elbow in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Some lovely photo's today Dave - apart from the sh*t one !