The Safari woke up to a frosty dawn but fortunately the sun was strong enough to blitz it off quite quickly and it turned in to a very nice day. We didn't get out until late afternoon after our Extreme Photographer had come round to do a bit of a five minute job which lasted a good couple of hours - nothing's ever straight forward at Base Camp!
After the last screw had been tightened we had a brew and then picked up our cameras and walked round to Patch 1. The warmth had brought out a good many bees and we saw a couple of Small Tortoiseshell butterflies.
A Chiffchaff was seen in the Butterfly Zone where the Elms are flowering but many more seemed to have died of Dutch Elm Disease so we hope that the White Letter Hairstreaks are OK...seriously need to sort out the planting of some disease resistant Elms next season if we can.
At the pond we spent a fair few minutes waiting for the Pond Skaters to come within range, our Extreme Photographer even managed to get a pic of a Water Measurer too, pretty impressive!
|Very heavy crop - a little too far away at their nearest|
Above the pond a Coal Tit was singing and at the upper pond we failed to see any Frogs or Toads but there were some there making waves beneath the Duckweed and they'd been busy judging by the huge amount of spawn in the middle of the pond - buckets of the stuff. A pair of Wrens collected nest material from the edge of the pond.
We wondered round the gardens without seeing anything else of enough interest to point the lenses at so we hit the rough field where another Small Tortoiseshell caught our attention. After blasting of a few pics of that we wandered down to the mounds and gravelly area at the bottom of the hill. It's a very very late spring as the vegetation hasn't got going at all, even the Coltsfoot is only just coming into flower here! But we're glad we did come down this far as our Extreme Photographer caught a fleeting glimpse of something red that he didn't think was a Robin that flitted along the scratty bit of hedge in the corner of the field. We put our bins up in the general direction he was pointing and got a bird by fluke right in the middle of the field of view in perfect focus! He was right it deffo wasn't a Robin...a crackin male Redstart (141). Not the first to have been seen here, but there haven't been many and this was first either of us have seen here.
We didn't get a chance to get the camera up before it did another flit and the drivel below is all we could manage.
After yesterday's dip we're triple chuffed to have one on our local patch that we aren't able to get too all that often these days.
Sadly our Extreme Photographer's computer has thrown a wobbly so we might not see his results for some time.
Where to next? Should be able to get a few hours at the nature reserve tomorrow, maybe early doors.
In the meantime let us know what multi-coloured beauties graced your outback