The Safari has been mostly stuck indoors watching the feeders through the kitchen window. Nothing overly exciting but the unringed male Greenfinch put in an appearance after several days AWOL and where have the Jackdaws gone? Not even heard them for a good few days now.
|Nice to see a young Blackbird learning the ropes|
|This is the only time we've seen a Starling on the seed feeder|
The Starling above is doubly unique, not only was it on that feeder it was also ringed. A look at SE's blog showed that the Fylde Ringing Group had only ringed two Starlings this year to the end of May, so not a species they come across very often and don't target specifically at this time of year so where had it come from. Further inquiries suggested it may have been ringed well to the south of us in a trainee ringer's garden but that location does seem too far away from Base Camp we'd expect that it was a much more local bird, but who knows? There's one way to find out, hope it comes back and hope we've got the big lens ready when it does.
We had the big lens on whilst sat outside once the rain had stopped when a big dobber of a Tree Bee flew past us and landed on the Northern Marsh Orchid and stated to crawl about. We fired off a few shots at 600mm; it was about 18ft (6m) away from us.
OK so they show a bee crawling up a flower, nowt special about that. But look closer at the two side shots, in the top one you can see the proboscis going into the flower but what's that yellow stuff. One shot we weren't fast enough on the shutter button to get but saw through the viewfinder was the bee leaning right back as though it was pulling something from the flower - was it the yellow 'stuff' are they stamens? We didn't notice the yellow stuff til we downloaded the pics.
We put the pics on Twitter asking for opinions and got a 'like' but not an answer from a Steven Falk - we wonder if it was this Steven Falk???
A little later another bee was seen visiting flowers in the same tub, this time an Early Bumble Bee with some hitch hikers.
|Not the best of pics but you can clearly see the mites on the bee's back|
Other than these goings-on not a great lot was happening out there although a bit of warm sunshine brought some Blue Tailed Damselflies out of hiding.
Later on in the afternoon we spotted this story in the local newspaper, the 'Tidy Brigade' strike again in big contrast to this much more positive offering from the other side of the border.
|Pic belongs to Cugel Phandaal Law originally posted here and stolen from him by all and sundry - hope he doesn't mind us adding to that list|
The comments section in the newspaper article show the fear of the natural world, people have become so used to dominating and controlling vegetation they're now frightened of it and will use any excuse to regain control. Those children shouldn't be pulling faces they should be getting down amongst the grass and looking for beetles, snails and the like, chasing the butterflies that will now abound (at lest the skippers will abound), getting mud on their knees, getting stung by Nettles, scratched by Brambles, accidentally putting their hand on an ant's nest- it won't kill them!!! Don't panic about it it's not the end of the world there's far more things to worry about like why there isn't the money to continue cutting the grass aka destroying the biodiversity. And hey (hay?) exposure to all that grass of a multitude of species might actually help them not contract hay-fever in the first place as some studies are suggesting that it is our under-exposure to a variety of chemicals and compounds that are the cause of so many people having immune deficiency/over-reaction disorders.
Blaming litter is out of order - long grass does not produce litter, lazy litter louts make litter whether there's long grass or not. We reckon it looks good and because the path edges are mown it looks managed and supposed to 'be like that'. The doggy do-do they're whinging about should be less of a problem too, the slugs and snails will eat it overnight provided some charming person hasn't bagged it and chucked the bag; although it does add unwanted nutrients to the eco-system. And anyway you should be keeping your mutt on a lead until it's done its business and you can see it to tidy away into a bin not letting it run rampant and squat 'unseen'...we can only dream......Don't know about London but the street on our walk to the shops certainly isn't paved with gold, brown yes, gold no!
Trouble is the areas that really do need to get cut and raked/collected like both the rough and smooth fields at Patch 1 and the grassy area in the scrub that is so good for invertebrates unfortunately will never be cut as they aren't seen as a 'tidy' priority when in fact they should be the top priority.
Hopefully these numpties will get used to the long grass in a couple of years and by then there might even be some orchids and other spectacular (and not so spectacular) wildflowers growing in the verges, parks and open spaces too. It all goes to show yet again that we desperately need some serious environmental/ecological education right through the school curriculum system so these elementary mistakes and fears can be done away with once and for all.
Where to next? We put the moth trap out last night so there should be some mothy news for you next time.
In the mean time let us know who's hiding in the long grass in your outback.