Saturday, 29 June 2013

What time d'yer call this?

The Safari's mystery find yesterday was identified as Sea Chervil Alcyonidium diaphanum, not a sponge but a bryozoan. Good old iSpot!
Last night the Hedgehog put in a very early appearance at only 8.30, more late afternoon than evening at this time of year! We missed it then as it saw us through the kitchen window but came back an hour later by which time we lost a lot of light...and the kitchen window's mot the cleanest after last weekend's storm.
This morning we were at the nature reserve a few minutes after 05.00. The Grasshopper Warbler was singing in the distance and near the cabins a Lesser Whitethroat rattled away. We waited for CB to return from his net round ready to do the scribing while he concentrated on processing the birds.
This Reed Warbler was the first juvenile of the site of what we hope will be very many.
 Sedge Warblers always look good, even when their starting to fray a little around the edges.
A walk down to see if we could find any Bee Orchids revealed a load of Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Great Tits, Song Thrushes, Reed Buntings and another very showy Sedge Warbler in the ever-increasing Bramble patch.
We found two quite large Bee Orchids. Crikey the vegetation has grown up densely despite the best efforts of the Yellow Rattle keeping the grasses in check - it's all the wildflowers that have gone bananas especially Hardheads and this Tufted Vetch.
At the cabin chatting while waiting for the next net round we had a male Kestrel and male Sparrowhawk go over, the latter was very seriously mobbed by an Oystercatcher - at one point it looked as though the Spar was going to be speared by that blood-orange bill! Had to have been defending young somewhere but the Kestrel was probably a bigger threat to them. Two Curlews flew towards the sea, one was significantly smaller than the other.
We helped do a bit of remedial work to the nets and very unsuccessfully attempted to extract a Dunnock, will need to take our specs next time so that we can see what we're doing!
Back at Base Camp there wasn't much to point the camera at but that's thing with wildlife there's always something of interest if you look long or hard enough.
Ox-eye Daisy with Herb Robert in the background
Ox-eye Daisy with a 2-spot Ladybird...Phone-cam
Close-up with big camera + extra lens
We weren't expecting our next subject. A teneral Blue Tailed Damselfly was chased around the garden until it clung to the laundry hanging on the lined. we thought that they'd all have emerged from the pond by now.
Still with the extra macro lens we struggled to get plant pics in the increasing wind but this tiny Thyme flower-head stayed just about still enough long enough.
After tea we put the mothy out and would you believe it the rain started within minutes! Hopefully it'll blow over quickly.
Where to next? What time will Hedgy appear tonight and will there be anything other than water in the mothy in the morning? If the sun dares to come out tomorrow afternoon we might even have a stab at finding some butterflies, either on Patch 1 or the North Blackpool Pond Trail...or both!
In the meantime let us know what put in a totally unexpected appearance in your outback.

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