The Safari took Frank to a site we haven't visited for about a year, maybe more and it's not as if it's far away; couple of miles at the most.
The site was 'just' a field although for a while the local primary school adopted it as their nature area. Formerly it was pastoral farmland but used to flood quite badly and was abandoned and a big pipe draining a lot of the surrounding urban area including big underground pumps. The dog walkers took over and it was mown from edge to edge leaving nothing but short 'amenity' turf until it was decided only to mow pathways through it to save time and money. After a few years it was decided to use the space for a new woodland and boy are we short of trees here, a scheme was hatched and planting was completed in winter 2011/12.
It's looking pretty good now but we thought the ripping lines prior to planting might have turned up something a bit different from the seedbank...if it did we couldn't find it!
Not that there's anything wrong with Creeping Buttercups and Common Sorrel.
|The stoop slightly left of centre is a piece of bog oak several thousand years old|
A quick jaunt to the North Blackpool Pond Trail gave us a Bee Orchid we didn't find the other day the first flower of which was just opening. The Lesser Whitethroat here didn't stop singing all the while we were there - not paired? - and a grasshopper chirruped away in the long grass towards the railway line - summer's here at last!
We spent a good part of the afternoon studying the Wren's nest in the garden. From 38 visits the average time away from the nest foraging was 2 minutes 19 seconds, ranging between 30 seconds and a long 8 and a half minutes. No real median value but most times fell between between 30 seconds and two and a half minutes which works out roughly she's doing 440 visits a day assuming the rate remains similar throughout the day and all days are equal no matter what the weather.
Wifey came home and gave us the opportunity to nip out without Frank for an hour or so. We decided to nip over to see if there were any Great Crested Newts at the 'usual' place. No luck we only had a Smooth Newt and a Toad under the refugia but they had been moved by persons unknown and after yesterday's heavy rain both were sat in a puddle so it's not surprising there wasn't anything underneath. We had a look at the local wetland too but that has become over-vegetated and there was very little water in the ponds and certainly no sign of any newt eggs, most of the suitable leaves were high and dry. we did see a small number of tiny Frogs.
We struggled to find anything of note to point the lens at for your delectation.
Where to next? Back to Patch 2 but before that we will be attending an early morning beach clean on the way to work - wonder what we'll find that the hordes have cast away.
In the meantime let us know what's hiding among the buttercups in your outback.And the palindrome? Mossom field...