Monday, 17 March 2014

A very mixed bag today

The Safari started out on a choppy Patch 2 this morning but other than about 200 Common Scoters was out there. 
Mid morning a call was received form one of the offices in the building who had been doing some office rearranging over the weekend and found a couple of dozen of these Harpalus beetles dead behind a filing cabinet - why there? Why so many? How long have they been there? Anyone know anything about them?
Our lunchtime Patch 2 session gave us many more Common Scoters, at first we though the steady stream coming south was due to the little survey boat going north disturbing them but no scanning further round there were loads still coming towards us from way beyond the boat. Over 500 of them came past us but no Velvet Scoters and no Long Tailed Ducks, all were Commons.
The only other things of note were two male and a female Eider going past close in and a far out Red Throated Diver. Secretly we'd been hoping for a little more than this but perhaps the wind wasn't quite strong enough to bring anything else closer to shore.
Once back at Base Camp Frank had to be taken out. Round the corner adjacent to where the big house has 'pruned' the tops off all its trees a nearby tree was crawling with Greenfinches waiting to go to roost. A few were already sitting on the top of the trees in the line of large conifers and we dare say some may already have gone to bed.
How many can you see in the pic? we reckon there were about 25 up there altogether, a couple or three above the upper edge of the pic.
Frank was bored with us looking up and started rolling around on the grass where we noticed several flowering heads of Meadow Foxtail. After taking a multitude of duff pics with the phone we took one home for the proper camera to have a go at.
 One the return to Base Camp we noticed several tiny flies resting on one of our window mullions. Time to bring out the macro lens.
It's about 2-3mm long.
So that was today's rather mixed bag.
Where to next? A breezy day on the nature reserve showing the wonders of nature to Yr1 tomorrow. They're going to get a goody-bag...thing is unlike 'ordinary' goody-bags the children will have to fill theirs with whatever catches their eye and takes their fancy. Sort of a modern version of the good old Nature Table...something we'd like to bring back into schools - Elf n safety rules permitting.
In the meantime let us know what mix bag of goodies was seen in your outback.

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