Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Time for the stickle attack again

The Safari had a reasonable Patch 2 visit early doors with a couple of Gannets and another couple of Sandwich Terns passing through. All around even well out to sea Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits were on the move.
Two Razorbills sat in front of a Great Crested Grebe and dived repeatedly keeping us guessing for a while as to their auky ID. An unidentified auk flew south beyond them.
On the beach three Ringed Plovers dropped in, always nice to see these infrequent visitors to Patch 2.
Mid-morning the Young Uns joined us to try to catch the last few remaining 3-spined Sticklebacks in the works pond so that they don't breed and eat all the exciting invertebrates we want to show the children later in the season...after the last battle we'd counted six left so we were hopeful of a short blast at them finishing by lunchtime. While we were faffing about the Young Uns heard a Siskin or perhaps two go over - a good Patch 2 bird missed...must keep ears open tomorrow!
Little did we know! By the time lunchtime came round we'd netted about 75! just a few more than six then!!!
A break from stickling took us all back to the seawall where we found a few more Sandwich Terns, eventually got AB on to the two Razorbills and watched more Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails drift past. Best sighting was a Peacock butterfly braving the icy blasts flying south obviously migrating to avoid the cold.
After lunch it was back to the pond to wrest as many more of the stickles out as we could...and we least another 30! Where'd they all come from????? Not much else was in there which wasn't unexpected as we had ice to break when first started but we did come across a small number of Front Swimming Water Boatmen, a nice unknown species of Water Beetle, and several Blue Tailed Damselfly  nymphs along with a single Water Hoglouse so if we dispose of all the stickles there is some hope that we'll get a good diversity of inverts after all.
It was then it all went horribly; no-one fell in...much more worserer than that! We thought we were just about done when AC spotted a flippin Goldfish!!! How did that get in and how on earth did it remain unseen with all the slashing nets over the previous couple of hours - bonkers...and it's still in there we couldn't catch it, in fact we hardly saw it again so good is it at keeping out of the way...disaster - that'll easily eat more than all the 3-spined Sticklebacks put together - nightmare!
The hunt is on!

Unknown diving beetle - anyone any ideas

A few of the blighters
Glad we got this gravid female out in the nick of time!
Where to next? Got a group of little kiddies on the beach tomorrow - what will they find.
In the meantime let us know who shouldn't be lurking in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

What did you do with all those Stickles Davyman :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

They go from being the (2nd) largest fish in a very small pond to being the smallest fish in a very large pond. We release them at a site with an existing population of sticklebacks.