Friday, 29 July 2011

Sick as a dog, parrot, etc

The Safari had planned to twitch into the next town's back streets to hopefully see the fresh brood of Black Redstarts and then go on to a more suburban/rural area to have look for Purple Hairstreaks - a species of butterfly that has evaded us so far. Our thanks go to ZH for the very detailed directions to a selection of locations for the hairstreaks, didn't realise there were tht many in that area...which has got us wondering if there are any nearer ones

But poor Frank has been taken poorly and was throwing up all over the place so can't be taken anywhere except to see the vitnery. Instead of twitching we spent the morning more usefully cutting logs, we need 2000 or there abouts for the winter...haven't counted how many are in the wood-store but it doesn't look anything like that amount although we do have two more piles to attack with the chainsaw...still won't be anywhere near 2000!

In between bouts of mopping up we spotted two Swifts going south in a sort of determined manner and a Speckled Wood scooted through the garden.

With Frank feeling pretty sorry for himself we decided to take hima short walk - he met Blue, his sparing partner, which probably wasn't ideal. Shortly after the 'encounter' we had a Great Spotted Woodpecker come overhead from the direction of the school playing fields.

After our walk we sat in the garden and relaxed for a while in the afternoon sun. The bees were quite active, this is either Bombus terrestris or B. lucorum on Evening Primrose, a common 'weed' at Base Camp but great for moths.

Common Carder Bees were out in force but too quick for the auto focus. The prefered much smaller flowers like this Oregano (could be Marjoram)

but spent most of their time visiting the tiny flowers of Herb Robert.

Over in the pond we spotted this 14-spot Ladybird trundling about on the Water Lily leaves. We think this is the first record of this species at Base Camp.

Also flitting about the pond, especially when the sun shone were a couple of male Blue Tailed Damselflies. Still not seen a Large Red Damselfly at Base Camp this year although there was one on the southern section of the North Blackpool Pond Trail earlier in the week.

A Marmalade Fly had us chasing about for a while.

Out of the corner of our eye we noticed another hoverfly land on the lily leaves but on closer inspection it turned out to be a species of Sawfly.

We could do with help from DS with the wildzone of our garden (could he have had three Glossy Ibises over his Base Camp today?),
Looking north

and this is the same hidden behind the garage patch looking south

If anyone wants a Small Leaved Elm or two we've got a couple of suckers that need digging out before they have the garage retaining wall over...not sure if they are any use to White Letter Hairstreaks, although we have seen the little fellas on the one in the Butterfly Zone, dunno if they lay their eggs on it though.

Untidy it may be but this year it has produced a hefty crop of seriously delicious Loganberries.

Plenty of room left in Barbara...(Woodhouse ;) ) for the remaining uncut piles of branches..spotted a couple more nice pieces on Patch 1 this arvo too.

Where to next? Could be an early start for the Black Redstarts if we don't put the mothy out. Hands could well be far too painful for faffing around with little things like moths in the morning, probably wait until tomorrow night as there will be plenty of time before we have to be at an event on Sunday morning to sort through them.

In the meantime let us know who's hiding in the woodpile in your outback.
Late vitnerian update - Frank has Kennel Cough; not nice...loadsa pills...


cliff said...

Dave - your Sawfly I think is actually a Froghopper wasp - Argogorytes mystaceus, which ss it’s name suggests, hunts froghoppers. We regularly get them around our pond, dunno what the attraction of the pond & connection to froghoppers is though.

I'm very envious of your Damselflies, we had 1 briefsighting last year, nothing so far this year :-(

Re. the WL Hairstreaks & Small Leaved Elm, my book tells me - "English Elm, Small-leaved Elm & any of the hybrids may support a colony, but the favourite foodplant is Wych Elm"

& no I don't want one - but if I had room I'd snap your hand off.


Anonymous said...

"We could do with help from DS with the wildzone of our garden (could he have had three Glossy Ibises over his Base Camp today?)"

Would`ve been pretty damn nice if they were, Dave.

Oergano : aka Wild Marjoram