The Safari saw that the sea was like a mirror this morning and we couldn't wait to get the scope on to the wall. The sea was ideal, the weather perfect and the visibility as clear as a bell so what could go wrong? Hardly any marine life that's what!
We struggled to find a couple of Grey Seals and a Sandwich Tern, extremely distant, almost off Liverpool rather than Blackpool a flock of diving white specks were an unknowable number of Gannets.
Disappointing doesn't cover it and lunchtime was even worse, by now it was hazy from the near-middle distance and just nothing was out there at all.
But all was not lost we had a site to visit on the way home to check for local goodies. As soon as we got there we saw that there had been a hatch of Craneflies - they were everywhere! Good food for the Whitethroats that were in their usual bush. White butterflies were enjoying the warmth and we managed all three species, namely Large and Small White and Green Veined White.
Our target species were likely to be found under refugia so we lifted them up to find...nothing beneath them! Walking round the pond we found a locally rare plant in reasonable numbers, Common Meadow Rue. Enough to have this site declared a County Biological Heritage Site.
Wandering further round we started disturbing numbers of Blue Tailed Damselflies from the vegetation. One of them was bluer and brighter than the others, our first Common Blue Damselfly of the year.
Over the water a sudden movement caught our eye; not one but two then three Broad Bodied Chasers careering around after each other - their aeronautical skills were an amazing sight to behold. One was kind enough to land just a few feet away.
We were able to sneak a few inches closer and got a frame filler
Under the next refugia we found a small Frog and a Smooth Newt - best check it just in case as this pond is quite peaty and acidic
Yep, with a spotty chin like that it's deffo a Smooth rather than Palmate Newt.
The final refugia held a bit of a surprise, a couple of mammals, and one of them stayed still enough long enough for us to be able to fire a couple of shots off.
Short Tailed Field Voles are pretty cute but don't try to keep them in a small tank, they don't half fight!!!
Where to next? Gates and garage doors to creosote tomorrow but we've got an exciting evening trip meeting up with our mates from the South-side...all will be revealed on Sunday, fingers crossed we're successful.
In the meantime let us know what was under what you were turning over in your outback.