Sunday, 12 June 2011

Three of a (different) kind

The Safari forgot to mention we had our first Large Skipper yesterday afternoon in, you guessed it, the Butterfly Zone. At first we saw a small goldenish butterfly flitting high up across the canopy of a Sycamore tree - White Letter Hairstreak??? But something didn't quite ring true. We watched it for a good few minutes and eventually it came down to feed on a Bramble flower and gave its true identity away.
First of the 'three' this morning was opening the moth trap, it went a bit chilly overnight - hardly June is it??? - so we weren't over-hopeful of a good catch. It was immediately apparent that there were a few Heart and Darts in there - 14 came outin the end. We had a bit of a palaver with this tiny Straw Dot giving us the run around before it eventually succumbed to the lens.

Also in there was a single Dark Arches.

And a very imaginatively named Treble Lines.

Dark Arches is a much bigger moth than the Treble Lines.

Our second 'event' was the national RSPB summer garden bird count. We spent a very pleasant hour watching the comings and goings at the bottom of the garden. We saw three different male Blackbirds, two first summers and a full adult, also a well grown youngster. A well grown young Dunnock was a welcome sight. The local Magpies have'nt found every nest - well they never do do they? Several juvenile Goldfinches and a single Great Tit completed this year's broods. No Greenfinch young were seen but of the two stunningly bright males one was ringed - no chance of getting a read unfortunately - unless someone would like to bob down with a net...

Despite the cool conditions there were plenty of Common Carder Bees visiting the Jasmine bush.

We could have thrown some bread on the garage roof to attract some gulls but wouldn't that be cheating? - - like putting sunny seeds out???

After lunch we had a kiddies event on the beach but by now the weather had deteriorated even further, now only 10 degrees, very cold for June and cooler than when we were sorting the moths out at 07.00!

The event was abandoned but we still had to go down on the beach for a quick look in the worsening rain. A Grey Seal bobbed out a little way beyond the surf but nothing else was out there.

There were several large Lion's Mane Jellyfish

And one Compass Jellyfish - we'd have liked to have found a Moon Jellyfish and made the 'three'

Looks like the cold winter has damaged our Sabellaria 'reefs'; normally the worms don't allow the growth of seaweed and you can see where the waves have damaged part of the structure - several patches were like this. we hope that there are still some worms still alive to keep this interesting UK BAP species/habitat going.

Where to next? Back to the patches, wonder what we'll find...could be absolutely anything...

In the meantime let us know howmany different groups of animals/habitats got investigated in your outback today


Warren Baker said...

Sunny seeds, cheating! Naa, cant have that Dave :-)

Enjoy the ''summer''

LaurenceB said...

I was out with you for the little rockpooling jaunt back in May with Annie when we saw a few rather smaller lions manes. Looks like they're getting bigger now. Saw a good few up at Heysham a couple of weeks ago too - middling in size, and so appropriately slotting into the growth series it would seem!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi L - you had any mauve stingers up there at Heysham - one or two reported here end of May, also By-the-wind sailors down off S.Wales I think, they could be on the ir way up.



LaurenceB said...

Just hundreds of lions manes at Ainsdale yesterday, will keep my eyes peeled for anything more exciting though!