Tuesday, 13 May 2014

A walk in the woods

The Safari forget to mention a couple of interesting sightings from yesterday's trip to the far end of the motorway.
First up as we arrived at the empty car-park there was a couple of Oystercatchers fast asleep on the tarmac. Later on the way up to the viewpoint in the pic we passed the now fairly full car park to see a Brown Hare trotting across it weaving in and out of the stationary cars....slightly incongruous. We hoped it would settle in the rough grass at the edge of the car-park but instead it went in to an area of tree planting and out of view.
The visitor 'village' on the right is built on a floating concrete slab and even has good old fashioned drawbridges, these are powered by modern hydraulics rather than burly mediaeval yeomen.
Our second look at the first lake gave us five Whimbrel now on the island, a good number for us to see but a fraction of the mid-migration roost that was here last week.
Today we threwe open the curtains early doors to see it was still raining - oh no, the moth trap was gonna be soaked again!
Very little was inside other than soggy egg boxes. We disturbed and relievedly potted a Common Pug before coming across a faded female Bee Moth under the egg boxes...great catch for mid-May - NOT!!! Where are they???
Towards lunchtime we headed out in a horrendous downpour with Wifey and Frank to a popular Sunday countryside venue for the masses, great that it was Tuesday, there was no one there. Weather musta put them all off, but no matter the weather had get well ahead of us and left us with warm sunshine and a light wind - perfect for what we wanted.
A short walk got us to our quarry, from the old quarry we'd parked in! All around were Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Wrens and Chiffchaffs singing but Wifeys keen hearing soon picked up the Guinea Pig like squeaks at the end of the song. A few more yards brought us out of the trees into more open ground and she pointed to a tree-top - 'up there, there's one. Tree Pipit (153) singing from the top of a group of isolated Spruce trees.
Overhead there was a Redpoll calling and back towards the car-park a flock of Siskins was calling persistently but unseen. There looks to be a huge cone crop this year so bring on the Crossbills in a few weeks.
Twitch done and Frank needing a rest - he fell down a drainage cut and rolled over getting up he looked round in a embarrassed manner hoping no-one had seen his faux-pas - we had! - - it was time to get some lunch at a nearby establishment selling good nosh and some fine beers.
The adjacent canal is full of ducks which demanded bread and they got it. 
While waiting for our order to arrive we swigged a nice pint of Old Nells and watched the House Sparrows including a recent fledgling nick bread from the tip of the ducks' beaks. Top birds shame they refuse to visit the garden theae days, love their constant  conversation.
The Swallows were going in and of the eaves underneath the thatched roof while Swifts screamed overhead and a Raven cronked as it went south at height - a cracking place to grab a bite to eat.
The moss is amazing, over an inch thick!
Another nice day out with a bit of quality ssafari-ing thrown in for good measure.
Where to next? The mothy is on again - no rain forecast but we'll see in the morning!
In the meantime let us know what's been spotted while chomping on scram in your outback.

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