The Safari was back at the hospital this morning to get our wound checked over and fresh, and very much reduced, dressings - what a relief, much more comfortable and mobile now, so much so we are able to wield the camera almost effectively for short periods at least.
Before we went into hospital we did the newt/amphibian survey during which we saw our first Yellow Flags in flower.
A little more interesting were these tiny beetles we found on many of the leaves in the gathering gloom.
We'd had the pics on the phone since then and yesterday we were able to put them on iSpot. By morning those clever iSpotters had come up with an ID. A fairly obvious ID but very welcome, so what are they? Iris Flea Beetles was the answer.
Back at Base Camp the other day we discovered that the only used cell in our little bug hotel was open, its occupant having pupated successfully over winter, metamorphosed into an adult and cut its way out - will it bring some friends this summer?
Also spotted, this time in our old Belfast sink which used to have alpines in it but is now mostly self-sown Cowslips. At first we thought the flat bladed leaves were from perhaps a miniature Tulip but over the last couple of days we're now certain its a Marsh Orchid of some description. We'll have to wait a few more days to find out which species when the flowers open fully.
We've been enjoying sitting in the sunshine in the garden listening to the birds once the dire noise pollution from the rush-hour traffic has died down. There's always a Woodpigeon or two hanging around hoping for some more scram.
There are two rival Blackbirds who sing at each other almost all day long. This one is in the Rowan tree at the end of next door's garden behind our garage. His rival was singing from a nearby chimney pot, less than 50 yards away, small territories it would seem so they must be of good quality.
While we were listening to those two with the local Song Thrush giving his four-penneth too we heard our first Blackcap (Garden #26) at Base Camp this year. Interestingly we've had a few Starlings visit today, very scarce here. We had, with somewhat of a struggle, put out some fat squares and within minutes we had visitors. How did they know it was there? We'd seen none flying over so could they smell the new food source. How nosey is a Starling?
It wasn't just the Starlings that made an appearance on the Scarce List. We also had a visit from a male House Sparrow that shot over the garden and landed briefly on the other next door's feeders before returning the way it came over our garden again. Bizarrre, we didn't know there were any sparrows locally in that direction. Luckily it came back and spent no more than a couple of minutes in our garden hopping around our pot plants.
With no further bird action we turned our attention to the plants. We tried some macro shots but it was too windy with most of the flowers shaking around like Whirling Dervishes. The Thrift in the same tub as the orchid was just about the only robust and sheltered enough specimen for a decent pic.
Later we just about managed to get the new beast out of its box but weren't able to attach it too the camera; there's no way we'll be able to use it for at least a week yet - sooooooo frustrating.
Where to next? We're hoping the sunny weather will last all week so we can sit out and soak up the wild outside.In the meantime let us know who smells in your outback.