Friday, 13 June 2014

Greens, grass n sand

The Safari has been otherwise engaged of late and hasn't had a lot of time to put fingers to keyboard for you. Last night we had another gaggle of brownies on the beach and they had a good session rummaging in the pools and scouring the beach for shells. 

As with the previous evening's group they couldn't catch any of the extremely quick Sand Gobies but we managed to catch them a baby Dab, more by luck than skill and between us we caught what we think might have a been a Sand Smelt, not sure how variable they are but the general consensus is that that they are pale olive green on the back and ours was decidedly darker than that. No photo as the Brownie who found t was ever so possessive of it and wouldn't let us anywhere near it with the camera, wouldn't even allow us to transfer it from here castle shaped blue bucket into one of our larger white ones for a better look at it.
A crab they picked up caught our eye too having great big flat paddles on its rearmost legs, obviously a swimming crab of some sort but with a broad carapace not the 'usual' Pennant's Swimming Crab we find occasionally.
Not the best pics and we're not sure if the blue is true or an artifact of the camera or reflection from the net handle. A species in the genus Liocarcinus seems favourite at the moment.
Now identified as Liocarcinus holsatus
Whatever it is it's the first of its kind we've seen here! Well done the Brownies!
Today we were able to have a little much round the gardens seeing as Patch 2 was pretty quiet. just a Grey Seal and some very hazy Gannets and gulls at a distant bait ball.
The sun wasn't strong but with hazy cloud the light was good so we concentrated on the front lawn where the scent from the White Clover is heady.
We wandered round the back to the patch of Meadow Cranesbill were the bees were busy, busy, busy.
Bombus terrestris
Male Early Bee - note the yellowy facial hairs
Tree Bee
In our wild garden we spotted a hoverfly doing a good job at  mimicing the Tree Bees
Mooching back round to the front there was what seemed to be a fairly freshly emerged female Common Blue butterfly.
After work we went back onto the beach to watch the tide drop and see if we could find the swimming crab and the dark backed fish again. Neither were findable but there were several whole Sea Potatoes, the smaller ones remarkably still had their hairs, yes for Sea Urchins they are a bit unusual in that they are hairy and not spiky, and our first jelly fish of the summer, a Moon Jelly
A walk along the runnel gave us several sightings of the goboes but not of the (?)smelt. We did manage to catch one of the smaller Sand Gobies, took some doing and again was more by luck than judgement.
Lots of Brown Shrimps were netted but numbers were paltry compared to the hordes lifted by the Brownies yesterday.
Not a bad day in the 'field' at all, really enjoyable!
Where to next? The weekend is upon us and the moth trap is out!
In the meantime let us know what was captured at the eleventh hour in your outback.

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