Saturday, 24 September 2011

Almost a summer's day

The Safari's Bat job was a success (or not; depending on which way you look at it). We found four bats of an unknown not new to science - just unidentified - in a top secret location you wouldn't expect to find them under normal circumstances.

The mothy was also on all night but when emptied this morning only held four Large Yellow Underwings and a Riband Wave. The best capture escaped, a darkish looking Ophion type Ichnumeon Wasp, didn't notice it camouflaged on the side of the trap and when we lifted the lid off it went.

We were at Chat Alley before dawn but there was nothing of note in the gardens/park areas. The outward leg gave us 20 Redshanks and 2 Turnstones roosting on the boating pool wall with another three Redshanks a little later heading down to join them.

The outward leg was pretty dire and there was nothing moving overhead despite the gentle southeasterly and plenty of cloud cover, even a few spots of rain now and then. We turned back at a pipitless Pipit Slab and went down the ramp to the lower walk where we immediatley found a couple of Pied Wagtails.

Another Pied Wagtail flew past us and we heard but couldn't locate another 'alba' Wagtail. Two more could have been the first two overtaking us.

Just before we reached the boating pool a movement above us alerted us to a Wheatear high on the artificial rocky cliffs poking around in scats of vegetation but successfully finding little somethings to eat.

The boating pool wall now had a better wader roost; 43 Redshanks and 23 Turnstones with another 13 Redshanks sat in the shelter of the lower ledge about half way round.

Just as we'd finished counting the waders a Grey Wagtail flew over and a little further on were two more Pied Wagtails but they could have been once we'd seen earlier. A hundred yards or so beyond them however was our first White Wagtail of the year...and not before time!

Another check of the gardens gave us a Blackbird, a Robin and a Dunnock all of which could well be resident birds.

Lunchtime saw us off around Patch 1 with Frank with a good start of two Speckled Woods on a very mild late September day. Nearby we came across a flock of Long Tailed Tits with a couple of Blue Tits with them.

Round the corner just before the park proper the Sycamore tree at the end of the hedgerow had a calling Goldcrest but try as we might we couldn't see past the foliage to locate it.

In thee park we looked at these fungi we noticed the other morning. Think they are Plums & Custard but not entirely sure.

This is the same stump that we found the Chocolate Tube Slime Mould on a couple of summers ago...a great find never seen anything quite like it.
These other musdhrooms are growing in the grass very close by, very likely on the dead roots below but again we've no idea what they are - Honey Fungus perhaps.

Not even sure if these two are the same species as the ones shown above, they were about two feet (60cm) away.

Hopefully those clever iSpotters will let us know what they all are.

The walk back gave us a the male Peregrine on the tower, a little unusual perhaps being the middle of the day.
Where to next? Mothy might well go on again tonight and tomorrow there is a bird club work party at the nature reserve which we'll probably pop along to unless the Buff Breasted Sandpiper puts in an appearance not too far away. Won't be able to do much by way of heavy work - we've got the date of our forthcoming fairly serious operation and looks like we are going to be out of action for all of October and November, perhaps even into the early part of December. Which means we're going to miss our ferry survey...b*gger!
In the meantime let us know whose doing all the work in your outback.

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