Thursday, 19 July 2012

Last minute reprieve

The Safari was a little disappointed that the wind had dropped significantly overnight meaning there was going to be absolutely no chance of a stray Storm Petrel.
We took the scope to Patch 2 but it was incredibly grey, visibility was as poor as it ever gets barring thick fog.
It was difficult to know if there was anything out there or not. Eventually, after training our eyes in to the grey, we found two Gannets. Cup of tea time, that was dismal!!!
We tried again at lunchtime. Much clearer out to sea but there was a big swell making it more or less impossible to see anything mammalian.
Four Gannets were all we could muster against the distant grey horizon and close in were two adult Shelducks with their brood of three well grown youngsters. Behind them a couple of small fish about 6 inches long (15cm) jumped out, perhaps belying the presence of a shoal of marauding Sea Bass in the vicinity. Far too far out for the four fishermen to be able to cast their lines amongst them.
Somewhat deflated and not feeling too good we went back in. But as we reached the door we spotted a very fresh Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on the Creeping Thistles growing in our Dune Habitat area. 

Wouja look at the hairy back on that!!!

These thistles ARE weeds as they shouldn’t be there. At the refurbishment of the building we specified these two areas either side of the front door should be filled only with beach sand so as we could demonstrate how the dune building grasses, Marram and Sea Lyme Grass work. But as is often the case the landscape architect on the project knew better and decided to add five tons of top soil to the sand because ‘nothing will grow in just the sand’ – consequently we now have a ‘weed’ problem...marvellous! This afternoon though we were quite glad of those ‘weeds’ as was the butterfly which spent along time drinking from several flowers.
Still feeling a bit under the weather we went to make a brew and while the kettle was doing its thing we had a wander along our wildflower border to see if there were any more butterflies lurking about. It wasn’t a butterfly we saw first but another Tree Bee which did a disappearing act in the time it took to grab the camera from the office. We did see another butterfly, this one a Meadow Brown. A Grayling would have been nice, the Young Un’s had reported seeing one on the dunes, whilst twitching the orchids we posted about yesterday, only an hour earlier.
Where to next? Lots of 'weeding' to be done tomorrow so there may be something of interest discovered or disturbed.
In the meantime let us know what's nectaring in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

Best flutter photo's to date I reckon Davo !

Hope you feel better tomorrow mate!
(Sorry if you get this comment twice!)

Gary Jones said...

Hi David, wow just come across your blog, so much to look back on!!! added to my blog list and will be avidly following. Regards Gary

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thanks Gary - I've been living the mountains vicariously through your blog for a while now as I can no longer get up that high anymore after being a Lake district resident some years ago.

Warren - they're just about full frame - warm sun followed by thick cloud slowed it down enough to get within an inch of it.
Think the crook feeling is a combination of fatigue and worry for mahhh boy



cliff said...

Nice Torty shots Dave, especially the last one with the wings fully open.