Monday, 12 August 2013

The real Blackpool Airshow dog fight

The Safari has had an eventful weekend since we were last on here. In sort of a reverse order it ended with a garden tick for the year, one the Red Arrows flew directly over our airspace here at Base Camp this arvo as the formation was leaving town after their impressive display...what a racket! But their display of aerobatics paled into insignificance compared to the three Arctic Skuas that were harrying in the terns out in the mouth of the river - now that IS what we call flying skill!!! Never sen a Sandwich Tern so high up, 3-400 feet, trying unsuccessfully to avoid detection. Wonder how many 'g's a skua pulls in a high speed vertical climb with an instant stall and plummet to catch a disgorged meal? All very impressive and exhilarating to watch far better than the man-made noise machines.
Before lunch we'd been on the beach with a family group and they'd only gone and found a couple of thing s we'd never seen before!
A lump of Sabellaria reef had been broken off by the heavy weather ind in it were some worms still alive. We broke open the honeycomb structure that gives the worms their English name. We've never actually seen the little devils out in the open before and didn't realise they were only about an inch or so long and they are truly weird, far more weird than anything we've seen on Doctor Who over the years.
Shrimps are always popular with the little ones
The other strange creature was this blog of jelly. Please tell us what it is.
Heard from marine guru Maya Plass via Twitter - she doesn't know what it is either!!! Have to find it again tomorrow and do a more in depth examination
It was about three times the length of the 1cm spherical blob when it was fully extended. We saw no tentacles and when gently prodded it squirted a pair of jets of water about three or four inches. It's stuck to a broken piece of Sabellaria reef. It could be a Sea Squirt (no idea what colour to do these in as they aren't invertebrates but are they vertebrates?).
We do know what a Green Leaf Worm is even though we don't see them that often.
 We have no problem IDing Beadlet Anemones either.
What a fantastic beach we have - shame far too many of the visitors who obviously like or otherwise they wouldn't come don't respect  it.
First thing this morning we joined some of our colleagues on the monthly staff volunteer beach clean up. Seems to be the same stalwarts every time - come on guys where are the rest of you????
Prior to that we'd woken upto the realisation it was the very ingloious 12th - the day Red Grouse live to die for. Now don't get us wrong we aren't against the sensible sustainable harvesting of wild species for food and there is alot ofd good quality free range food out there be it for humans or pets - EAT THE ALIENS! what we do have a serious problem with is driven grouse shooting which almost demands the destruction of native habitats and species. Moorland is an important international habitat found in few places outside the British Isles but grouse moorland bears little resemblance to natural moorland and the destruction of wildlife that goes with it is not only criminal but morally corrupt - like the government ministers who condone it or at least lean on the authorities to ignore it...if Vicariously Liability does ever reach the statute book then Benyon would be my first choice of arrest with his not outlawing the possession of the banned poison carbofuran when he had the chance and there's plenty more who should have done and hasn't, not just hasn't but has domne the opposite of what the environment expects of him - well he is supposed to be minister for it not against it. Talk about vested interests! The man's a sham 
Hen Harrier Day today shame the weather of the last two seasons has done the gamekeepers' final dirtywork for them and every last one in England has turned it's toes up.
We had a busy weekend with the North Blackpool Pond Trail bioblitz folled by a National Moth Night event in a park we've never been to before. It took a while before the moths decided to put in an appearance but one of them was one we've never seen before...Iron Prominent
Ruby Tigers are always good value spawning the park's newsletter headline 'Tigers on the loose in the Park'.
The bioblitz found well over the target of 500 species and that includes us not being able to find any remnants of the Bee Orchids! While sweep netting a small caterpillar in a larval case made of seed pods was found, a bit like a terrestrial caddisfly larva. It's still to be confirmed but it looks like it's probably Coleophora trifolii.

We'll be back with more bioblitz and marine news tomorrow.
Where to next? More mariney stuff with another family group and no doubt more Patch 2 action to report on hopefully.
In the meantime let us know who's murdering what they shouldn't be in your outback.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting information - keep it up!

NB v difficult to read the "prove you're not a robot" - partially obscured numbers