The Safari once again had no luck tempting Frank to the furthest reaches of Patch 1, and once again a peek through the bedroom curtains revealed no Peregrines on the tower.
At Patch 2 it was very chilly, bright but with a cold breeze blowing. Snow could still be seen on the Welsh and Lake District hills.
Not a great lot was happening at sea, three single Red Throated Divers made their way northwards as a couple of Sandwich Terns blogged about just offshore. Eventually monotony was relieved by three Eiders, two males and a female, coming past us over the top of a Great Crested Grebe we noticed as we watched them fly on their way.
We were joined by the Young Uns for a spot of volunteer gardening. As they laid waste to our decrepit Gorse bushes a shout went up – MOTH!!! They always find something! The camera was grabbed and the moth relocated.
It’s been identified by our local micro recorder as Agonopterix ocellana, which according to the Lancashire Moths website hasn’t been recorded in SD33 since 1980-89!!!
This caterpillar was also found but we haven’t got a clue as to its identity.
Next up was removing the last few 3-spined Sticklebacks from the pond; a job which lasted far longer than anticipated. Last autumn we took out 110, last week we removed a further 40. This week we guesstimated no more than about half a dozen – they finally managed another 36! So last week we only caught half of them, begging the question how many are still lurking in there now?
Once again a large Notonecta backswimmer, probably N. glauca, found its way in to the net along with a couple or three damselfly nymphs of varying sizes and colours.
While all this mayhem was going on two Rooks (P2 #54) flew over, not a common sight at all on Patch 2, none were seen here last year; but we still haven’t seen the Linnets or the Wren.
Now that most of the dead and dying Gorse has had to be cut down the Linnets have lost a favoured nest site until the new ones we’ll be planting after Easter have grown to sufficient size. One thicket of Gorse that escaped the saw smelt really strongly of Coconuts in the morning sun.
Some of the wildflowers we planted last year have escaped the visiting gardeners’ attentions and hopefully will put on a good show in the coming months.
Where to next? A four day break might provide an opportunity or two for a safari to more distant lands, or at least the nature reserve, we do have a plan for Saturday though.
In the meantime let us know who shouts “MOTH!!!” with gusto in your outback