Monday, 4 May 2015

A safari across the county line

The Safari was invited to join CR and his mate, Other Dave, up on OD's patch just over the county border this morning.
It's a different world up there, totally different habitats to what we have down here.
On the way just before turning off the main road to OD's village a Swift (151) cruised alongside the car for a few moments.
We visited a variety of sites including dry flower-rich limestone grasslands 
Field of Cowslips
and peaty raised bogs with some mixed woodland some of which has been clear felled and some being flooded out by raising the water level by bunding and stopping up old drains.
And some very dry rocky areas too
We saw a plethora of wildlife including the pics below which are in no particular order
Any ideas what this might be folks?
Our first dragonfly of the year, 4-Spotted Chaser nice but not the one we really wanted which we couldn't find but might not be on the wing just yet due to the recent cold weather
Bog Hoverfly
Common Heath moth
Early Purple Orchid above and below

Forest Shieldbug
Green Veined White
Large Red Damselfly above and below

Unknown but apparently not a fungus but a fruiting body of something else
Scorpion Fly on OD's jacket
Tiny spider on limestone
We saw a Roe Deer but no Ospreys, Peregrines or Ravens.To be fair we weren't interested in the oh-so-far-away Ospreys or other birds it was more of a get down on your knees and sink into the habitat macro sort of a day. Tree Pipits (152) were singing on one of the mosses where we were looking for the White Faced Darter dragonflies.
One of the site specialities are the Slow Worms but no snakes were found.
These were under the second old tin we lifted, the first had at least 10 under it in a knot but we couldn't take a pic as we were holding the tin which was an irregular shape and couldn't be propped up against our knees.
The other is a small brightly coloured butterfly, Green Hairstreak - little jewels they are.
There's so much more to see up here as the season progresses, incredible butterflies, plenty of orchids and other wildflowers; there's two species of snakes a couple or three rare birds and more inverts than you can shake a stick at. Can't wait to go again.
Many thanks to CR for the invite and doing the driving.
Where to next? A little closer to home tomorrow we're back on the beach with a gang of youngsters - what will they find for you to enjoy?
In the meantime let us know who's too brightly coloured in your outback.


Ian Doyle said...

Nice photos, some good finds there.

cliff said...

Really enjoyed the day out Dave. A great way to kick off the bug bothering season. We need to get back there in the next 2 or 3 weeks as other gems start to emerge.
Love the photos, especially the fungi, a great low down shot; & the landscapes are something I never think to take, they make for a great reminder of the cracking locations we visited.