Saturday, 20 July 2013

Away down south

The Safari has been on choo-choo trains today and tbh isn't over-enamoured with public transport. The trains were fine, if a little old and on time it's just the waiting around time for changes. we only went to the south side for cryin out loud - you'd have thought we were going intercontinental! Over two hours and three trains to go somewhere we can easily see from Patch 2!!! Coulda swum it quicker.
At our first station we saw a Buddleia bush in flower, neither at Base Camp are anywhere near flowering yet.

We saw little from the window of the 'speeding' carriage apart from dry looking fields with the odd crow sp and Woodpigeons flying around. Until on our second train we started to see a few white sp butterflies, one of the stations also had 'brown' butterflies possibly Meadow Browns and little further up the line we saw a Kestrel which has now been reported.
The reason for our trip was to do with next weekend but before we get into the nitty-gritty what is this mystery item pertinent to the day's proceedings? Many (most?) of you won't have seen it before we shouldn't wonder.
Answers in the comments section; do it now before you read on and get all the clues - all will be revealed tomorrow, sorry no prizes.
We had been invited to help at an event organised by KL the the local coordinator for the Seawatch Foundation and it was very good to finally meet her and others we've known 'virtually' for some time.
The afternoon went quite well although a lot of our visitors were foreign tourists, nothing wrong with that but they are perhaps less likely to become regular dolphin watchers along the Cheshire and Lancashire coastlines as residents.
After a couple of short talks, this one from DB the national SeaWatch Foundation's Sightings Officer,
about UK cetaceans and then which are found locally the floor was open to questions for which we'd been invited as one of the panel of 'experts'.
We shocked ourselves with our lack of expert knowledge! Q - How long do Harbour Porpoises live? A - errrr dunno; Q - How long can a Bottle Nosed Dolphin hold its breath? A - errrr dunno. Apparently up to 15 years and a little over eight minutes...some expert ehh?
Still a most enjoyable afternoon was had and our home town looked splendid in the warm sunshine. we can remember all the
stone buildings being grimy and soot covered by now they have been cleaned they are positively beautiful...especially with a wildflower meadow of cornfield annuals at their feet.
On the train home we heard a man from Manchester discussing which was England's second city with a bloke from Birmingham each claiming a variety of reasons why their town should hold that honour; all the Scousers on the train knew England's second city is neither Manchester nor Birmingham but is in fact London :-)
Not much else to report, raptor tally ended Kestrels 1: Buzzards3
Where to next? Mothy will be going on tonight. Not sure about tomorrow the garden here at Base Camp needs a bit of tlc - not too much as were not exactly sure where the Robin's nest is.
In the meantime let us know which civic buildings in your outback have their own wildflower meadows.

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