The Safari had an unexpected bonus last night as we took Frank out, we saw our first Base Camp Pipistrelle bat if the year, we were almost reaching the point of dispair thinking we wouldn't see any at all - now all it has to do is come back and bring some friends with it; there's plenty of midges flying over the pond for it in the late evening.
We really liked the look of the sea today as we drove to work...it was carpet smooth and we were able to get a few minutes scan before opening up to the masses. Not a lot was out there apart from a few flocks of Common Scoters numbering in the region of 100, they're starting to build up now. A Grey Seal bobbed along on the current a long way out and that was about the lot apart from a shed load of gulls on the beach to our left - Mr Ca-moron is really going to have to have a conversation about those - seagulls at the seaside on the beach - - would you credit it?
Just before lunchtime we spotted the mum of a young family taking pics with her phone of something in our wildflower meadow. Turned out to be a Cinnabar moth caterpillar chewing its way through a Ragwort plant. We had a chat to them showing the daughter where the Ant's nest was, she had asked, and the young lad spotted a butterfly basking on the windows. his dad thought it was Painted Lady but it was 'only' a Small Tortoiseshell - seems he'd had the two muxed ip all his life!
We were showing them the other plants in the meadow explaining that like the Cinnabars and Ragwort, many other caterpillars only eat one or two species of plants like Nettles for the Small Tortoiseshell and the Birds Foot Trefoil for the Common Blue butterflies. It was then we spotted two 'new' Deptford Pink plants in flower a little way away from the one we've shown you in previous posts.
The family left and we went for lunch after which we were straight out with the scope and were relieved to see the sea was still flat calm.
Nothing much had changed since earlier other than a second Grey Seal had arrived. With viewing conditions as good as they were were loathe to leave but decided to have another slightly longer than normal lunch break and give it a couple more scans. Well are we glad we did - two Harbour Porpoises appeared as if by magic about a mile or so straight out in front of us and stuck around for a while. We wouldn't swear to it but it looked like one was larger than the other and the stuck close together surfacing and diving in synchrony so could well have been a mother and calf. We watched them for about five minutes and then as mysteriously as they appeared they disappeared and by now we had to too.
Where to next? We got it wrong yesterday - tomorrow is the first day of National Whale & Dolphin Watch, do join us if you can.
Will those Harbour Porpoises stick around? Will the sea be calm enough for us to see them?
In the meantime let us know who's the prettiest in pink in your outback.