The Safari managed to get out on a full Patch 1 walk yesterday evening and after a day of surprises at work was granted one more by the Surprise Gods! Nothing appeared anything out of the ordinary as we climbed the hill, rounding the corner Frank’s nemesis Blue and his two hench-dogs weren’t at the gate ready to pounce and the Peregrine wasn’t on the tower, all seemed normal. At the Golden Triangle it was good to see a Song Thrush collecting food for hidden nestlings and an unseen Greenfinch sang loudly. We walked into the park and immediately heard a Blackcap and saw a Speckled Wood, nothing unusual there. We watched the butterfly flit along the track in front of us and once at the more open area of the Butterfly Zone it hung a right over the Bramble patch. Something rather large on the Brambles caught our eye...a huge Tree Bee, very possibly Blackpool’s first record (Anyone know any different?). We watched her for a good few minutes but no flamin camera!!! Gee are they a bonny bee!
A Chiffchaff was also singing on and off. Frank decided he wanted to wander round the rough field so we followed him – he dived straight into the filthy puddle – bad dog! After dragging him out (not quite by his ears!) we thought he best have a mooch through the long grass to dry off a bit...but then he found another puddle, again muddy – he did disturb a couple of Large Skippers and a little further on another couple although it could have been one of the first doubling back and a third.
It became rather humid as the evening wore on and after we’d woken up from the dream that Spain v Portugal was a good match we took Frank out. Several moths were seen, one of which was probably a Brimstone.
|(Old pic from the moth trap)|
This morning saw us back on Patch 2 where there was some of the most ominous cloud formations we’ve ever seen fortunately drifting northwards away from us, we hoped to get a pic but by the time we’d got back to the office and the camera they’d dissipated. Talking of cameras, one of yesterday’s dunked ones seems to be fine (the more expensive) but the handy little compact isn’t responding to treatment yet.
Three Grey Seals and one of the big lumps of driftwood were seen along with the lone male Common Scoter, a dozen or so of his friends flew south at range followed a few minutes later by another 75 or so. Also at range was a skua sp which disappeared once it dropped below the horizon. Three pairs of unidentified terns made their way southwards as did another surprise, three Mute Swans, a Shelduck also appeared out of the gloom to the north – were they all escaping so rotten weather?
At lunchtime we got the periscope from the cupboard and headed off to the beach. No good! Too dull today due to a thunderstorm brewing out at sea. There were some good flickers of lightning including one massive one bouncing along the base of the clouds for about 10 miles and a couple of others that forked into sea.
We tried to get pics of the Plumose Anemone but now think a bright sunny day is needed along with a dark cowl over our head – we’ll get there in the end!
Another anemone was seen in the same pot, this one bright orange, Elegant Anemone, Sagartia elegans - thanks to DB for the ID. Easier to get a pic of it from above the water surface even if the shutter speed is still too slow.
A meander along the beach before the deluge arrived gave us plenty of Sea Potatoes, a few more Hermit Crab-free Edible Whelk shells and two clumps of Squid eggs.
With large drops of rain landing with decided thuds on the beach we thought it best to leave and let the fishermen down on the water’s edge be the target for any more lightning that might be around.
Where to next? A day off tomorrow then the weekend so anything could happen! Who knows- even the moth trap might get an airing!
In the meantime let us know how hot n sultry it was in your outback