Sunday, 18 September 2011

Toad in the hole?

The Safari had a short half hour stood in the back garden at Base Camp 'vis mig'-ing before making the traditional Sunday morning bacon butties.

By judging by what we had we probably should have been up at least an hour earlier! Hanging out the laundry we noticed a fair number of Meadow Pipits and a few 'Alba' Wagtails going over, so once that was all attended to we then counted properly and got the following...
Meadow Pipit 46

Swallow 11

Jackdaw 2 west, then one or more others heard - scarce overhead here

Carrion Crow 1,1,2 and 4 - the last group also had a Rook - a real bonus as these are rare here and was P1 tick #67

Siskin 2

'Alba' Wagtail 2

Greenfinch 1 went a long way southwards so possibly a migrant rather than a local bird

74 birds in less than 30 minutes or five birds every two minutes.

In the warm afternoon we started cutting more kindling wood ready for the winter and heard a Toad croaking, well it was sort of spring-like in the warm afternoon sunshine. We had a look round the pond but couldn't see anything. Then getting an old dog food bag from by the back door for the wood it felt a bit too heavy - inside was this chap all puffed up and stood on his stilts!

No idea how long the poor thing has been trapped in there but we let him go in the thickest vegetation around the pond.

By now vis-mig had totally tailed off and the only birds of note were two Swallows going north, nothing was seen or heard moving at all.

Butterfly interest was high-ish with singles of Red Admiral, Large White and a Speckled Wood.
Best sighting of the afternoon was undoubtedly the large dragonfly that shot past and landed on the other side of our neighbours fence - we could just see part of a forewing sticking above the top lath. Gingerly we approached with a pint glass but as we got to the fence we could see old Mr H asleep on his deck chair so probably not best to stick arms, glasses, nets etc through the fence in case we ended up giving him a hearty!

The dragon was a Brown Hawker and it was tucking into a large Blue Bottle type fly....a good find as dragons have been noteable by their absence at Base Camp this season .
Where to next? No work tomorrow but probably no safaris either as we still have the minor matter of the shattered Land Rover window to sort out although our Bro-in-law has made a good deal of headway but the right part still needs to be decided upon - just how many different glass carriers can one model of vehicle have???
In the meantime let us know how early you should have been out in your outback

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