Sunday, 22 April 2012

Not sure what to call this

The Safari started at 06.50 on the nature reserve. A cooler morning than yesterday with a stiff breeze and no sun. The birds were much quieter far fewer being heard. We stood awhile at the Redstart scrub but only saw a Woodpigeon, not even a Blackcap stirred - yesterday they were all over the shop.
A little further down the still quiet track we came across this small Puffball - anyone know it?
We met the same out of town birder as yesterday and he put us onto a Grasshopper Warbler (163, 82) but said that he had had two. We listened to the first and followed him to the other which he said had been showing quite well. We heard it from a good way off and then our hawk-eyed friend spotted it low down but fairly close to us. If you can tell it's a Gropper from these pics your doing well!
We also had a Sedge Warbler (164, 83) singing in the bushes a bit further back. But with time at a premium we headed back to the Redstart scrub for another stake out  - again little stirred and our alarm went off telling us time was up...time to aim for a bacon butty!
A few hours later we were back and spotted a bit of a hiccup in the field across from the Groppers, which weren't singing now although Young Un Jonny had heard FOUR.
At the other end of the reserve we waited for this St Mark's-fly to be devoured by the owner of the web but it never appeared. Instead the pic isn't out of focus its the fly shaking itself free, luckiest St Mark's-fly in town!
Frank was getting warm in the lovely sunshine - less cold wind at his level? He found a puddle in the wheel ruts...doesn't he always!!!

The warmth brought out several butterflies, we had four species in the end, this Small Tortoiseshell was the first one seen of the day.
A minute or two later we spotted another Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock nectaring on adjacent Dandelions, unfortunately a cloud came over and the Peacock closed its wings the same instant we pressed the shutters :-(
A Carrion Crow sped past so speedily we missed half of him...

We spent a long time listening for a Lesser Whitethroat that didn't show - can't win em all, although our Extreme Photographer probably got a very brief glimpse of it.
At the end of the safari we sat at the duck feeding area with the idea of getting some gull-in-flight shots but there weren't many gulls about and the copious amount of bread on the floor suggested that those that were around were full to busting!

 Got one gull-in-flight pic and we're quite pleased with it.
A pair of Tufted Ducks dived repeatedly, the female was too quick fro the camera...or at least its operator.
In the reeds was the serene sight of the female Mute Swan on her nest.
Not so serene was her mate having a big ole bath

 Meanwhile down at our feet a female House Sparrow took advantage of the uneaten bread
 ...but did it see the Sparrowhawk or one of the four Buzzards overhead.

 But what about the Cuckoo we 'predicted' yesterday? Well it did turn up but about mile or so away :-(   Never mind we did get another nature reserve year bird in the form of a House Martin (84).
Where to next? Patch 2 will be back in play tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know what miscellany befell you in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

Some great Photo's today Davo, I like that last House Sparrow :-)

I wish a Gropper would turn up here this spring!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thanks Warren, more for you to enjoy on my flickr site...My fave is the agricultural mishap :-)came close to something similar a couple of times myself in the dim n distant past.

Gropper will turn up for you this week



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