The Safari was back on much more familiar territory at the nature reserve this arvo. We'd had an offer from CR to join him earlier this morning but we couldn't go as Frank was at his hydrotherapy again mid-morning.
The first thing we noticed as we left the Land Rover was the change in wildflowers the predominantly yellows of early spring had been joined by other colours and dome of the grasses on the wetland were looking lush and flowering. The very first pool had a big splash of bright pink from the Ragged Robin at the far end.
There were Sedge Warblers singing all over the place, Swallows swooping and Reed Buntings flitting and singing too. The Cetti's Warbler exploded loudly from its usual place. We had a look for Bee Orchid rosettes at the old compound site without success but the Germander Speedwell is beginning to open, it'll be stunning in a couple of days if the sun shines.
The Yellow Rattle is coming on too
While we were photographing it a Lesser Whitethroat rattled away nearby. It's close relative the Whitethroat appear to be healthily numerous this summer which is good. There was plenty of song and churrrs coming from the scrubby areas. Wandering on we had a good look at the scrape, no waders but if the water level continues to drop over the next few weeks it'll be looking good for autumn passage waders, we could do with a dryish summer please. It'll be even better in a couple or three years when it has more of a layer of silt and rotten vegetation for the waders to probe in.
At the bridge we had a look in the channel to see if we could see any Elvers but we didn't although a nice bright 3-spined Stickleback was lurking close to the bank.
An idiot on one of the camp site's hire tikes decided to ride it through the channel, marvelous! It was then we noticed that a fair bit of the Elver mitigation 'brushes' had been pulled up and chucked around - marvelous, the site's only been busy for a couple of weekends and the season hasn't really started yet - how much will be left by the start of September?
We'd seen a Buzzard with a primary missing drifting about and thought it was the regular one that hangs around the area. It had landed on the pylon by the channel and we got our best ever Buzzard pics this arvo.
We're sure we can improve on this in the coming months. But it was disturbed by a particularly persistent Carrion Crow which made it fly off and we saw it had no missing wing feathers so there are two in the general area.
The gulls went up several times, once we found a Heron was the culprit and once it was a Helium balloon - aka high flying littter - doing the damage but the other times we missed whatever it was although there was a Great Black Backed Gull on the water for some of the afternoon so it could have been that at least once or twice.
Turning back rather than doing the full circuit we came across some vetches, both Common and Bush Vetch coming into flower. This is Bush Vetch.
While we were photographing this a right dog-walking ar*e came past with three unleashed mutts that had obviously been in the water. One of them almost trod on the subject as it came so close - we looked at him in almost despair and all he could say was "Oh fu*k off - you 'naturists' are all the same". We hadn't said a word. Charmed we're sure! Then one of his charges did a sh*t right next to the path which he totally ignored - really should have taken a pic or video but by then we were unsuccessfully trying to get a pic of a Whitethroat doing its song flight.
Which bit of 'Dogs must be on a lead' do these ar*eholes not understand? Seems that far too many people get a dog and mysteriously lose the ability to read. Come on Cameron you want to tax the minions more - a dog tax wouldn't go a miss. 200 quid and a compulsory chip would sort out those that really want a dog from those that don't and the chip would give local authorities the opportunity to get owners info from them with a reader to fine the feckers when they accidentally forget the rules.
Our last flower spot of the day was yellow one but not one of the early yellows, Creeping Cinqufoil.
We bumped into PL on the way out and passed an hour putting the world to rights which made us late for Wifey and nearly got us into trouble...not his fault though.
In other news we saw that the Gooden's Nomad Bees are out in the neighbours dry stone bank near Base Camp, if we don't get out tomorrow...Where to next? Should be able to get out somewhere later on.
In the meantime let us know who's wearing all the colours in your outback.