Saturday, 20 August 2011

Decidedly different

The Safari had two Peregrines on the tower early doors, one asleep and one throwing feathers everywhere - not its own! Then a third flew off to the NE from the far sde of the tower.
On the walk back down the hill to Base Camp two Whimbrel flew past heading coastwards calling.

We went straight out to nature reserve for an hour or so to see if anything was going over but it was a bit too clear, Still got Cetti's Warbler and Willow Warbler singing in short bursts. A few Reed Warblers flitted about, a Sparrowhawk sneaking through the trees upset the Magpies. A small number of Swallows with one, maybe two, Sand Martins drifted south and a Swift went over a short while earlier.

Bird of the session was this Common Tern, a species we've not seen here for a number of years now but which almost bred on site in the past.

Something made the big cob Mute Swan charge and a minute or so later 20 odd Coot scattered out of the edge of the reeds but we didn't see what had caused the commotion - hoping for the Otter. It wasn't this barmy dog either - no its not Frank after a bout of anorexia.

After a bit of brekkie we spent the morning in the garden enjoying the sunshine and firing off some shots of the insects.

Unknown hoverfly, only small - those are Marjoram flowers it's on. Perhaps Eupeodes corollae
Episyrphus balteatus

Eristalis sp

Syrphus sp

Sphaerophoria scripta, female, very numerous in the garden

Sphaerophoria sp, although one iSpotter has suggested Xanthogramma pedissequum

Lucilia sp, a Green Bottle.

Snapped a couple of flowers too...
Herb Robert

Spear Mint?
and Ox-eye Daisy

Back to the inverts, this is one of the many species of Tachinid Fly a parasite (doesn't kill host), or parasitoid (does result in death of host), of various caterpillars; they aren't generally host specific any caterpillar will do.

and a tiny bee, perhaps a Coletes sp, only 6 or 7 mm long. Late edit - Halictus rubicundus

A Sparrowhawk flew over at height but our pic was too awful to show here. A Swift passed over mid afternoon just as the rain started and a flock of Swallows had at least two House Martins with them.
As we left the reserve we said to the ranger 'looks like an Osprey sort of a day'. Guess what? not us; him a phone call at lunchtime told us he' just had an Osprey going south...well the gulls here never picked it up, probably a touch too far east for them to bother with...drat.

Where to next? Out somewhere on safari tomorow, not sure where yet. Some moths to get acquainted with tonight if the rain stops...
In the meantime let us know what the rain dropped in your outback


cliff said...

A terrific selection of sightings Dave, especially the Tern at the Mere, that's a few seen there recently. Did it hang about or was it just passing through?

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

It was there most of the hour I was there Cliff - 06.45 - 08.00 then left to the SW