Sunday, 16 July 2017

Too busy to blog

The Safari has been out looking for wildlife every day this week with much of our time taken up in the evenings with Brownie and Beavers groups. They've been working in the pond and have successfully released a tiny Froglet in to the garden. Our work's pond is raised with high sides so there's no way it could have escaped in to big wide world on its own. There's at least one big tadpole still in there too.
We've been so busy educating the kids in the wonders of wildlife that we've not stopped to take any pics. But then again there's only so many gruesome pics of dragonfly nymphs chomping down on poor unfortunate 3-Spined Sticklebacks you readers can take. 
We've had a couple of brief visits to Patch 1 with Monty to see if we could increase our tally of just a single White Letter Hairstreak. No joy with those as no more have been seen but we did note a large increase in the number of Small Skippers.
While waiting for the WLHs after some afternoon rain we spotted an arty spider's web by our knee.
Mid-week we were down on the beach with school groups for a couple of days. Great fun and some great finds like a small unknown species of Bearded Rockling, a few Blennies and a handful of tiny fry from some unknown fish. Neither of the two groups could catch any Sand Gobies though, imagine being outsmarted by a tiny fish with the brain the size of a pin-head. Yes, catching those calls for teamwork and some serious stealth, something we were sadly lacking this week. 
Much easier to catch was this stranded Barrel Jellyfish.
It's a small one
After doing the health and safety talk to the teachers and children we broke the don't touch any jellyfish rule and picked this one up. Gathering the class around we got two of them to stand next to us for a teacher to get a pic. Fully dangling (it was well heavy - arm achingly heavy waiting for the not so quick class to assemble) it was almost as big as the little Year 1 children! 
They continued to collect their shells and whatever else they could find. Then one child called out 'Jellyfish!!!!!!' exactly as they had been instructed to do. We headed off to inspect it and drawn a no-go line in the sand around it with the end of a net but found it not to be a jellyfish at  all. It was a cluster of Squid eggs. Only a small one and well battered but still the first bunch of Squid eggs we've seen on the beach for a few years. Interesting - what were we saying about the dolphins a couple of posts back...
Unfortunately despite the excellent sea conditions the Bottlenose Dolphins didn't put in an appearance for these children from an inland school. That didn't bother them too much they still had a whale of a time. It's very gratifying when at the end of the day and they're getting on the bus to head back to school one of them says 'Thanks sir, that's the best school trip I've ever been on'...but please note he was only six years old and hasn't been on many school trips! Not to worry we're sure he'll remember it for the rest of his life and tell his friends how brilliant our beach is and what they should do and look for if they come down with their families during the summer holidays.
We've got a little guessing game for you now...sadly that was our last school session ever :-( ...but why? NO - we haven't been arrested!!!
Where to next? Family duties at the weekend but we might be able to get out on Safari somewhere for an hour or so.
In the meantime let us know who's holding up the specimens in your outback

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