Friday, 24 June 2011

Was that a different seal?

The Safari’s Patch 1 visit was a fair bit louder than of recent. There was a Song Thrush singing which was a pleasant surprise and hopping around on the lawns there were ‘some’ Blackbirds which when we finally got round to thinking about counting we got nine so there will have been well in to double figures. A couple each of Robins, Wrens and Dunnocks sang from the shrubbery as did a Blackcap with another in the Butterfly Zone and a third from the Golden Triangle – amazing what a little bit of early morning sunshine can do to lift the spirits.
The Sparrowhawk’s tail was yet again peeking out over the edge of the nest. Walking down the hill we noticed a number of Starlings pecking around on the grass verge on the other side of the road and from somewhere not too far from them the happy sounds of several House Sparrows chirruping was heard...what is it about that side of the road? Both those species are so rare on our side, although a pair of Starlings did manage to nest in the house opposite Base Camp this year.
Out on Patch 2 little was happening, a Grey Seal caught our eye close in but all too soon dropped below the waves an out of sight. A distant Gannet wandered aimlessly around and a small flock of Common Scoters was seen in the shimmery far distance.
Another seal was found away to the south and appeared to be struggling with a large flatfish. It too disappeared beneath the waves taking its flapping prey with it, but as it went below the waves it really looked as though it had a pronounced concave face, was it a Common Seal? If so it would be a good record for Patch 2...but not enough seen on it for a conclusive ID.
Meanwhile still on the beachy theme it would seem that the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish have caused a stir amongst the general public by having the temerity to ‘invade’ the local beaches on the look-out for unwary dogs and small children to zap to a horrible and no doubt painful lingering death.
Or to quote a friend (hope she doesn’t mind the theft but it made us titter) ... It’s awful that the ‘authorities’ allow wildlife on the beach!!! How dare nature come onto our beautiful amenity beaches. Why won’t someone do something to prevent this?? We are all going to die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice one A...can’t wait to see what the headlines in the paper will say, could well be your sensationalist “INVASION OF THE KILLER JELLYFISH, - WE’LL FIGHT THEM OFF THE BEACHES!!!”
On a more sensible tack we popped out on an work’s errand at lunchtime which just happened to coincide with CR’s lunch so we arranged to meet up at the Bee Orchids. Last time out at a Bee Orchid site we didn’t take any pics of the gorgeous things but today we did.

As we were on site anyway we suggested a further 50 yard walk to have a look under the sheet of wood we found at the weekend. Walking through the grassland we disturbed a few Meadow Browns but no skippers. Lifting the wood; lo-and-behold no Smooth Newts masquerading as Palmate Newts, but we did get two of their big brothers (sisters actually). An adult and a well grown immature Great Crested Newt – yeh hey!!! A few Toads of various sizes were under there too, including the largest one we’ve seen for some time.

Not a bad few minute’s impromptu escape from the desk.
Where to next? Looks like it’s gonna be too wet overnight to risk putting the mothy out...certainly won’t be going on the beach unless armed to the teeth with anti-jellyfish rockets...
In the meantime let us know who’s hiding under what in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

Nothing to hide under in our outback Dave - everything is picked up and burnt, by those same type of boneheaded people who moan about Jellyfish!

Monika said...

Funny comments about the jellyfish, but even more so it's scary/ bad there's such a major disconnect between most people and the nature that surrounds them.

cliff said...

Dave - many thanks for showing me these little gems. Both the Bee Orchids & GC Newts were firsts for me, was a terrific lunchbreak that was.