Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A bad miss and a jewel

The Safari sort of continued the Garden Bioblitz yesterday, poking around in the garden for anything new or that we might have missed. It was deliciously sunny with temperatures over 25C, that hot was a real rarity when we were a nipper, only the oft quoted summer of 1976 and the odd very hot summer's day every few years could match it, now it seems to be a regular(ish) occurrence. 80F (now 26C) used to make the newspapers in the old days!
There was bad news about the ongoing plight of the Hen Harrier today too, seems like they have been persecuted to within an inch of extinction again by those psychopathic driven grouse shooters. It's time to get that environmental and wildlife carnage banned for good. There's no point trying to talk to them or compromise cos they're just sticking two tweed-clad fingers up at us. Only a complete ban on the 'sport' will do. If you haven't signed the petition please do and get your friends and family to do so too, this needs to be taken to the very top of our environment-hating Establishment. Don't know much about Hen Harriers, family and friends never heard of them?, then ask yourselves why we don't see Peregrines, Golden Eagles, White Tailed Eagles or Red Kites in our English uplands - Answer - - they all disappear the same way! 
And now back to the garden...
While bioblitzing yesterday we spotted some leaf mines on the Buttercups and Cowslips. There's a great website for you to have a go at trying to identify these tracks through the leaves.
Possibly Phytomyza ranunculivora on Meadow Buttercup
Possibly Chromatomyia primulae on Cowslip
With the sun shining on the feeders most of the morning we took the opportunity to see what was about and take some pics. Mostly Blackbirds and Goldfinches.

The Blackbirds in particular are eating more suet now than they do in the winter, possibly because it's been very hot dry for a few days and they can't find any worms or snails. We've never seen one at the seed feeder before although it soon realised this wasn't really suitable food and went up to the suet block.
The Robin has learned that it's easier to stand on the top of the sunny seed feeder than try to cling to the wires to get the fat.

The Blue Tits usually pick out a single sunny seed and dart in to cover to eat it out of sight but this tatty one has taken to nibbling away at the fat block. It looks to have white outer tail feathers - is that something seen often in Blue Tits - any ringers out there?
The male House Sparrow came in for a couple of brief visits but throughout much of the day we could hear the happy ssound of chirruping from not far away - are there some fledglings somewhere, it's about this time of year we expect to see them in the garden, usually only once or twice and then they disappear for another 12 months. Will this year be different now that male has been back and forth to the feeder...we certainly hope so.
We had the shock of our lives at tea time when we turned the telly on to watch SpringWatch Unsprung to see young SB holding up a bunch of Goldfinch feathers - well done her for setting this weeks quiz!
Talking of enthusiastic and dedicated young naturalists we were in electronic conversation with EM much of the day, chatting about wildlife, conservation and politics. We'd told him we had a challenge on our hands here at Base Camp as the Ruby Tailed Wasp we've sen many times just won't stay still for a pic, as soon as we see it and grab the camera it does a bunk. We had to do a bunk from our conversation because we'd spotted a Base Camp MEGA. A blue damselfly, not one of the regular Blue Tailed Damselflies that breed in the pond but either a Common Blue or an Azure Damselfly, neither have been recorded here before! It settle briefly before flying off over the kitchen roof before we could get a proper look at it and we thought that was the end of it. But about half an hour later it reappeared and yet again settled too briefly for us to get a good enough look it ID it before it took flight this time over the garage roof. That was it! Indoors we went to get our net, it wasn't going to get away a third time! Unfortunately it didn't come back a third time.
We did manage an arty shot of a Blue Tailed Damselfly.
And a close up.
Our Northern Marsh Orchid is just about at its best now too.
The luck was better for the Ruby Tailed Wasp. We saw it flying around its usual haunts and this time it stuck around and even landed on the trellis and started to crawl around for a while. We were out of our chair, camera in hand, as quick as a flash and this time we had some success! Happy days!
What a beauty!
Where to next? We'll have some more jewels if you don't mind. It loks like the weather is cooling down a bit so we might not be so fortunate...but with wildlife you never know what's in store!
In the meantime let us know who's bedazzling you in your outback.

1 comment:

cliff said...

The Ruby Tailed Wasp is superb. Something I've never maanaged to photograph.