Monday, 11 July 2011

New species for Patch 1!

The Safari had a new species in the moth trap at the weekend, a Ditula angustiorana. Out on Patch 1 this morning and at the Golden Triangle heard the Blackcap singing briefly. Something far more interesting was heard at the Butterfly Zone (where three White Letter Hairstreaks were seen yesterday) the repeated strident call of a Nuthatch – the first record for the site! We stood round for several minutes while it moved around the canopy of a large Sycamore unseen but well heard. The house on the corner has some feeders up in their back garden so they may well have struck lucky! Nearby was this snail feeding on a Timothy flower which doesn’t seem to be able to make its mind up if it’s a Brown Lipped Banded Snail or a White Lipped Banded Snail...we say it was actually the former. Not much else was in there apart from a good number of juvenile Woodpigeons and a Robin trilling away with its autumn quickly the seasons pass from one to the other. The Sparrowhawks have abandoned their nest but are still around, the piles of plucked feathers laying around all over the shop gives their presence away.
We had another look at the Nettle Leaved Bell Flower; after Barry corrected our Marsh Sow Thistle ID we thought we’d better check it out more thoroughly. The uppermost leaves have no stalk so that makes it...Giant Bellflower, Campanula latifolia. A Fox had left its calling card on the path in the park proper.
Out on Patch 2 it was quiet with only a distant Manx Shearwater and nearer Cormorant to trouble the page in the notebook.
At lunchtime it was a different kettle of fish – literally! About two miles out a feeding frenzy was going on. At least 50 Gannets were diving from considerable height indicating the fish were quite deep. With the Gannets were a large number of Manx Shearwaters with more arriving from all directions all the time – we reckon somewhere around 250 would be a conservative estimate. Also seen were a handful of Kittiwakes. We didn’t see any cetaceans but if the Gannets were diving from height then the fish weren’t being driven to the surface from below. Big shame as there has been a report of a super-pod of about 500 Common (= Short Beaked) Dolphins seen between the NW tip of Anglesey and the Isle of Man at the weekend – now wouldn’t that have been something to behold! Awesome, for the lucky finders.
Where to next? Something freshwatery tomorrow perhaps
In the meantime let us know how frenzied it is in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

well done Dave, Nuthatch! - get those feeders out in the Garden, it's bound to find them

Stephen Dunstan said...

There's a bl**dy Ruddy on the park Dave.