Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Persistance doesn't pay off

The Safari opened the moth trap this morning to find over half the catch was Large Yellow Underwings (14), Lesser Yellow Underwing was the only other 'multiple' catch with three. The others included:- Copper Underwing - underwing ID pic to follow, a rather worn Willow Beauty, a spankingly fresh Setaceous Hebrew Character, again pic to follow, Square Spot Rustic, Flounced Rustic - needs pic checking when it appears - and a Riband Wave. Micros included a Crambid for ID later and a tiny dead one, again pic to follow. Four Caddis Flies were also in the trap but all were lively and escaped before the lens got anywhere near them - it looked like there were two species a large one and a smaller one.

Mid-morning we went back to the estuary to see what the tide might bring up. There were a lot of Lapwings on the mudflats, at a very guessy guess well over 1000. Golden Plovers numbered just short of 100 with a few still sporting their black summer underparts. Our side of the river only held a couple of dozen Redshanks but a Greenshank with them was a bonus, the far side had well over 250 but uncounted as they were being pushed about by the rising tide. Five Black Tailed Godwits and a few Curlews were also over there. The only small waders we could find this morning were five Dunlin with the distant Redshanks, again no Curlew Sandpipers!

Several scans through the gulls only gave us two adult Mediterranean Gulls and probably the same two Great Black Backs as yesterday. The Meds were flushed off their sand-bar and landed at the mouth of the creek nearest to us where one started to display and call, just out of range of the camera but with a bit of luck one or two of the shots might be OK...

Where to next? Tomorrow is going to be a plethora of pics for you to work through...

In the meantime let us know what hasn't turned up in your outback yet.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Out of the ordinary

The Safari was out on Patch 1 for a good while this morning. The Robins are becoming more and more vocal and a couple of Wrens chuntered away to let the neighbours know they are still hiding in the undergrowth. A Sparrowhawk went over and flushed about 15 Magpies from the grass at the edge pf Magpie Wood. The remains of a Magpie that hadn't made a quick enough escape lay scattered a few yards away - not often we see Magpies being predated; wonder if it was the Sparrowhawk or the Peregrine that was the culprit - btw no Peregrines today...

As we turned into Base Camp's street there was a totally extraordinary commotion of Starlings - at least 50!!! Wow that's a lot for here, so much so it could be a street record, and some were even on the roof at Base Camp. Just as out off the ordinary were three (possibly more) House Sparrows in the hedge of the house on the corner, this is the nearest they've got to Base Camp all year. And whilst hanging the laundry out a Coal Tit was heard singing somewhere not too far away...all getting a bit strange now...

Later in the moring we were scuppered a bit; Wifey was off to work in London so we were home alone, but she didn't leave until it was too late to go to watch the rising tide at the estuary to check for Curlew Sandpipers, where one had been reported yesterday.

With quite a big tide we decided to have a bit of lunch then go and watch as it fell. We got there a bit too early and the road was flooded right across. Fortunately we were able to speak to some pedestrians who said it was safe to go round the corner to the car park so we inched our way slowly through the sea!

A Great Spotted Woodpecker 'chip'ed from the trees at the far end of the carf park and a couple of Goldfinches flitted around the Thistle heads. We watched about 50 Swallows hawking over the river as the tide started to ebb. Some skimmed low over the water for a drink, this water would be brackish but last week we saw them drinking sea water at Patch 2 - never knew they could do that. In the distance behind them a Kestrel hovered of what little of the marsh was left hoping to catch a vole or two flooded out of their usual hiding places. Feeding over the flooded marsh with five drake Mallards was an eclipse drake Pintail, our first of the autumn.

As the tide dropped a little mud was exposed and a few Black Headed Gulls dropped in with a handful of Redshanks. We walked upto the boat slipway where the Coastguard and Lifeboat were in action again - a yacht had run aground at the top of the tide after missing a channel and ending up stuck on the marsh.

The fields on the far side of the river held plenty of Lapwings and a few Curlews but the mud only had a couple of Curlews and a few gulls which included a couple of Great Black Backs and the tricky 'catch you unawares for a Yellow Legged Gull if your not concentrating' 3rd summer hybrid Herring Gull x Lesser Black Back.

Back at our original viewing point the tide had receded enough to allow about 30 Redshanks to feed on the mud and a Common Gull had joined the Black Heads. In amongst the Redshanks we noticed four small waders - all Dunlins today :( An 'interesting' looking juvenile Cormorant came and stood with the gulls, but we'll have to wait until we can dowload the pics to see how 'interesting' it actually was - and then only if they are clear enough as it was a bit distant and dark and trying to rain.

With no new year birds seen in August and only one day left we need to 'score' tomorrow if we are to keep ahead of Monika in our Year-list Challenge. Especially as we have possibly missed the opportunity to get a coupel or three summer visitors recently and she has gone on a trrip up-country where she may get a few species that don't occur on her local patches; think we'll both reach our target of 200 but which of us will be the eventual 'winner' is anyone's guess and at the moment my money's on Monika - there's confidence for you - NOT.

Where to next? At the moment its looking hopeful for the mothy but there could still be a bit of overnight rain so we'll have to check the forecast later on. Then later tomorrow there might be a mopping up safari...

In the meantiime let us know what's trying to sneak in to Base camp in your outback.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Nuthin' doin' on a normal cold wet and windy Bank Holiday

The Safari saw that only one Peregrine was sheltering from the atrocious weather on the tower this morning. Four Blackbirds were up and about at the Golden Triangle but nothing else. With a big black cloud drawing ominously closer we cut the walk short at Magpie/Woodpigeon Wood and just got back to Base Camp before the next deluge started...where's Noah when you need him?
After lunch we had a soggy wander round patch 1 getting a pic of the Peregrine on the way and then having a look at the remains of a fungus we noticed a couple or three days ago - it's well past its best now but we think it is a species of Boletus due to the pores rather than it having gills - got a pic for later when we can download them off the camera.


Back at Base Camp the feeder played host to a Greenfinch and the Blue and Great Tits have found it again after a fairly long absence.
That was all we could muster for today.
Where to next? Still got a couple of days off and with the promise of better weather the mothy might put in an appearance.
In the meantime let us know what it's normally like on a holiday weekend in your outback.


Back later if owt interesting happens...don't hold yer breath

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Minutes only

The Safari didn't have much time to do much birding/wildlife-ing today, too much time spent scoffing delicious scram in the cosy surroundings of an 18th C inn with some good friends.

On arrival the creeks were too full and a walk down the old railway line overlooking the salt marsh provided little, although the Sea Asters were looking fine and dandy. a lot of Mute Swans and a few Curlews were out on the marsh. A Sparrowhawk soared over the river upsetting a hundred or more lapwings which fled to the far side of the estuary.

After an extended lunch we had another quick look over the creeks and the pool. Again only a few minutes of looking but a Small Tortoiseshell and a Green Veined White braved the stiff and chilly wind.

On the mud we saw a moulting Spotted Redshank with a few of its commoner cousins. Three Comon Sandpipers were sat together with a Lapwing.

At the pool there was nothing doing, it would probably have been better to check this when the tide was high and more birds would be roosting there. But as we got back in the car a Peregrine screamed low over the marsh flushing loads and after a tense high speed chase a Redshank escaped with its life and, unlike us, the Peregrine went hungry.

Where to next? Out and about somewhere not too far away, sadly deffo not as far as the Citrine Wagtail found today only a mile or so from where we were getting drowned yesterday - the amount of rain that fell in Liverpool made the national news - 9mm (nearly half an inch) in an hour and we were sat out fishing in it...no wonder we thought it was a bit wet!

In the meantime let us know what escaped in your outback.

No pics again today but tbh we didn't take any.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Little changes at Little Crosby

The Safari had two Peregrines and nothing else early on this morning.

As soon as we got back to Base Camp it was time to load the car and head to the South-side to meet up with the Safari's co-instigator Haddy who has recently had reports of snakes on our childhood local patch; certainly never heard of any way back in the annals of time - high time to investigate then!

The weather forecast last night was for showers easing to warm sunshine...well they got that wrong with thunder and lightning thrugh the night. As we drove down we noticed that the rain was getting heavier and the puddles deeper. Shortly before pulling up at Haddy's we were releaved to have fitted a snorkel to the Land Rover as the road was totally submerged after continuous torrential rain. The site is a fishing pit so to get to check for snakes we had to afix reel to rod and sit through a series of downpours knowing that any self-respecting snake wouldn't even be considering venturing forth. As we arrived a Wheatear was seen on the edge of the field. We both caught a few small fish, Perch and Roach, but after sitting out for four hours we were wetter than the fish would ever be!

As a youngster we used to roam these fields and woods birding, fishing in the pits and collecting Blackberries with Grandma etc etc. Suffice to say some 40+ years later very little has changed, the tractors are a bit bigger but the crops are the same. Today though we didn't hear the 'plop' of any Water Voles which used to be common down there.

The pit we fished had both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler singing and the bush next to us ad a Reed Bunting hopping about. A Curlew or two called from distant fields and as the weather cleared a Buzzard was heard. The sun also brought out an unidentified Hawker dragonfly and a Green Veined White butterfly.

As we packed up the fishing gear a panic went through the Swallows, a falcon...could it be a Hobby?...No; just our 'third' Peregrine of the day.

After a lunch in the dry it was time to hit a site out on the moss we've never been to before but where Haddy had found Lancashire's 6th ('modern') male Red Backed Shrike. None of those there today unfortunately. The path leads straight to DS!!! if you go in the opposite direction to the way the sign is pointing - be a long old walk though. In the warm afternoon sun we did find a hovering Kestrel and a field of Curlews. A quick look at the drainage dyke didn't reveal any Banded Demoiselles which Haddy had seen once before but it was a bit blowy this arvo and we only found a single Blue Tailed Damselfly clinging to the swinging reeds.

Afer checking the fields we had a look around a cracking piece of wet woodland - strickly no access but a path runs round all four sides of it. Not the best time of day but it was an interesting walk with a Blackcap heard 'tacc'ing and the scent of a Fox (which we can't smell too well) hung heavy in the air over a well used track.

A Hoof Fungus was found, first we've seen for a while, after photographing another unID's fungus we spotted a large dragonfly which was probably a Southern Hawker - we have got pics but due to camera/pc interface malfunctions we're unable to show you any of today's adventure :( - normal service might not be resumed until we get back to work next Thursday...then you'll be sorry there'll be thousand of pics to wade through.

We walked a grassy track focusing on a Goldfinch feeding on Thistles when a Pheasant erupted from under our feet...good job there's nothing wrong with our heart but nearly had to change our trousers!

A little further on there was a big bundle of black bagged wrapped silage in the corner of the field - why do you need to oput grass in a bag anyway? Well a few yards further on and we realised we need to go to Specsavers (other opiticians are available) as the bales turned into Aberdeen Angus cows...oops. A couple more Buzzards were seen and heard had we both remarked on how common they have become so quickly round these parts; only 20 years ago birders kept the isolated pioneers' nests as secret as they possibly could. A flock of flushed partridges looked as though at least one of them was a Grey Partridge but the last one was definitely a Red Leg.

All to soon the safari was over and it was time to go our separate ways until next time...what a great day...once we had dried out at least.

Where to next? A day nearer our telegram tomorrow and we'll be heading out to PW's territory for a spot of lunch...with the bins of course.

In the meantime let us know what's been embarrasingly misidentified in your outback.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Keeping an even Keel

The Safari had the nets in freshwater last night when a community group came down for a pond dipping session. Before they arrived we had another quick look at the sea but only saw a single Gannet trying to get out of the path of a huge rainstorm heading coastwards – looked like we were about to get a soaking.
What would the 3-spined Sticklebacks left for us to find? During the pre-dip demo we showed how to fill the trays with water and inadvertently managed to catch the only Red Water Mite of the session.
It first appeared that there was not a lot other than snails in the pond. As usual the three common snails were quick to find their way in to the trays, Keeled Ramshorn,

Wandering Snail and Greater Pond Snail being the three. Then, as the children began to tire of these and the fish, they started to look more closely at their nets and out came numerous front-swimming Water Boatmen, Coxia sp. Two speedy Whirligig Beetles successfully evaded capture, probably by flying away as they seemed to vanish into thin air after being chased by several nets.
A damselfly nymph was found clinging to a piece of vegetation, probably a Blue Tailed Damselfly but this evening no-one caught the (only?) Common Darter dragonfly nymph.
Eventually a (the?) Common Ramshorn Snail was brought to the surface and the race was on to find something else a little more ‘out of the ordinary. One child broke the bank with this year’s only back-swimming Water Boatman, Notonecta sp. These can give a bit of a nip with that big strong and very pointy proboscis. For some reason they haven’t colonised until now, usually they are fairly numerous.

A pale leech came up towards the end of the evening, iSpotted as an Erpobdella sp.


Think the last Gardening Club the youngsters attend before they go to college might well be a total trawl of the Sticklebacks from the pond to allow the invertebrates a chance to multiply and others to colonise.
This morning Patch 1 was very quiet but a little excitement came in the form of the juvenile Peregrine sitting round the back of the tower. When we were in the park we heard some Peregrine commotion going on but could see through the trees. Getting back underneath the tower the youngster was now sitting right at the top when the male swooped round doing two circuits before joining her, coming right over our head abut two house-heights above us – magical.
The drive in to work gave us a Wheatear on the grass around the base of the cenotaph whist waiting for the light to change – never seen one there before!
The sea on Patch 2 was well up the wall and other than a dozen or so fishing Sandwich Terns nothing was doing. Later, at lunchtime, they were still at it and we witnessed a bit of pair-bonding feeding with (presumably) a male carrying a Pipefish (?) to a waiting female sat on the water which she then took and ate.
In the distance we spotted the trawler Isadale and then back in the office discovered we could track it’s movements with this world-wide shipping site
Looks like she’s fishing commercially rather than doing fishery survey work, hope the skipper is steering well clear of our dolphins.
With no cetaceans to be seen the only mammals were two Grey Seals, one well to the south the other well to the north.
Where to next? Ooohhh a long holiday weekend to look forward to with some safari’s further afield planned, hopefully to include something with keeled scales.
In the meantime let us know what’s trawling through your outback.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

The Safari joined a sizeable crowd on the Bat Walk last night with the Rangers through the big park. After a brief introduction to the world of bats at the Visitor Centre we headed out bat detectors at the ready. Aiming towards the sheltered Rose Gardens the detectors soon picked up the click click clicks of a Pipistrelle hunting along a row of trees. Torches were shone and most of the group got to see their first bat of the night. Several of us had moth nets too and it was here that the first Old Lady was potted up...a first live sighting for us of this impressively large species.

The Rose Garden is noted for its small pond which is full to busting with Smooth Newts and tonight was no exception; we were able to pot an adult male to show the group. Also found here was a Crescent moth. Our next stop was near the lake, there was a big hit on the detectors as a bat went overhead; shining the torches revealed a large moth high in the trees which our Extreme Photographer tried to reach with his extendable net...no joy but he did disturb a bat which flew through the densest shrubbery only a few feet away without the detectors picking up a sound – it could only have been the very quiet Long Eared Bat – nice one! It was probably gleaning small insects from the undersides of the leaves when he swung at the moth with the net.
Over the lake it was like Gotham City there were bats galore and the torches soon picked out the white bellies of Daubenton’s Bats as they skimmed low over the water. The detectors were buzzing with the numbers of bats present. The Boathouse is lit by several security lights and the white wall had three Old Ladies on it.
We tried the bridges to see if we could see any bats flying beneath us but the wind was being funnelled through them and there were none here. A Common Rustic (agg) found its way into the pot under the trees where a Pipistrelle and a Treecreeper were found roosting on last year’s walk.
Setting off down the very dark back of the park the bats dried up but we did have excellent views of the International Space Station as it went over about 220 miles above us...shame the astronauts aren’t going to get their new supplies this week; the Russian rocket didn’t reach them...oops.
The rest of the group went on over the road into the woodland area but we bottled out and opted for an early night and missing out on a Hedgehog and half a dozen Red Underwings drinking sap from the bark of an Oak tree.
This morning dawned very autumnal, chilly with a Robin singing at the end of the street. Not much else was about; another Robin and three Blackbirds at the Golden Triangle which has been a bit quiet recently, nothing of note in the park proper and a Sparrowhawk over the houses. No Peregrines on the tower again.
Out on patch 2 two Grey Seals were well separated, two flocks of Sanderlings whizzed southwards, 11 and 11, best bird of the short watch was a Teal also going south towards the estuary. A few Common Scoters bobbed about on the wavelets and one male was much closer in. Grabbing the camera we went to get some pics of him - a bit too far out - looks like we should have taken the little camera and digiscoped him.


For our lunchtime session only one of the Grey Seals was present but it did put on a ‘how to eat an enormous flatfish' show (probably a Plaice). There were a dozen or so Sandwich Terns fishing quite successfully not far off shore but precious little else or interest.
We were back on the beach later in the afternoon with another family group and didn’t they do well! Or at least didn’t they do differently to yesterday! They were rockpooling in the same place and managed to find totally different creatures. One of the first things caught was this Sea Gooseberry, the first seen since the spring, in the end they’d netted several of them.



Tricky little things to get pics of being transparent the camera doesn't know where they are.

Lots of Common Prawns and only a few Brown Shrimps today with one fish that looks like a young Blenny. This Beadlet Anemone was very low down in the pools, almost on the beach, and is among the biggest found so far. Bits of Sand (or Blunt) Gaper (not sure which species) were found which are not common here shown with the similar Common Otter Shell for comparison. A complete specimen of Carpet Pullet Shell was a rare find.
Also collected today but not seen recently were several broken pieces of Sea Hearts aka Sea Potato a species of hairy rather than spiny Sea Urchin. After yesterday’s smallest ever Common Sand Star today we failed to find a single one.
It’s not only the Weaver Fish and jellyfish that can cause serious grief to the unwary barefoot brigade...and one of the main reasons our ‘elf n safety’ specifies shoes/wellies must be worn at all times...you really wouldn’t want to put your foot on those.
All in all yet another great day on the beach – and in blistering summer sunshine today rather than torrential rain...makes a refreshing change.
Where to next? Pond dipping this evening with yet another group
In the meantime let us know what’s reappeared in your outback

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

In then out - could almost be an Indian batsman!

The Safari didn’t see the Peregrine(s) last night, nor were any there this morning...what’s going on???
Nothing to report at the Great Crested Nothing zone apart from we found a Brooklime plant growing in a corner of the field which has escaped the mower, must be a relic from when the area was much wetter than its now drained state. Great Latin name - Veronica beccabunga - where'd that come from?

The drive to work along the prom was dolphin free; as is the case 99.999999999999999% of the time...we also scoured the coastal blogs and websites to the north of us and found no mention of said dolphins...musta been a figment of our imagination???
Just as we were parking up we heard a Whimbrel calling, couldn’t see it/them from the driver’s seat and were concentrating on not reversing into the car behind. Later from our desk we heard a/some Curlew(s) going over too. A very quick look at the sea gave us a scattering of Common Scoters and a Grey Seal.
At lunchtime we had a similarly quick peek over the wall with AB but there was nothing happening apart from a solid wall of heavy rain rapidly approaching so we dashed inside just as the first drops were landing.
Not long afterwards, when the worst of the rain storm was over, we were out on the beach with gang of families. A soggy hunt through the rockpools ensued for an hour on a ‘typically’ cold and very wet summer’s afternoon.


Some pairs of Green Shore Crabs were wrangled along with a small Hermit Crab again in a Tower Shell. Another large Barnacle was found, hot on the heels of our first ever last week - this one stuck firmly on a Necklace Shell and a ton of Common Prawns netted.


A number of these anemones were found; these two were in the same pool and were about the biggest seen being around an inch (2.5cm) across. We think they are both Sagartiogeton undatus of different colour forms but are prepared to be corrected. Could do with a submersible camera - that'd help anyone trying to ID these underwater creatures.



Once back in the office we started to dry out uncomfortably. Not long before going home time we got an urgent call from the front desk – a Feral Pigeon had got in to the cafe and no-one was able to get it out...a job for a pigeon-wrangler extraordinaire, or the Safari, whoever was nearest. After a little coaxing it found its way through the open door to freedom, giving the solid windows a miss for a change – job done...who needs a pigeon-wrangler extraordinaire anyway.
Where to next? A real rarity treat later tonight; we’re joining a bat walk in the big park. We’ll also be taking the net and pots in case there are any moths to be found.
In the meantime let us know what’s got into your outback.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Happy happy days!

The Safari spotted this little horror crawling around on the Water Lily leaves in the pond at Base Camp when we went out to feed the fish yesterday afternoon, we didn’t have a clue but those clever iSpotters tell us its a Lacewing larva (not seen a lacewing in the garden all year but looks like at least one has been there) .. it is it’s got a scary set of gnashers!
Later on, when out with Frank before bedtime, we could see just one Peregrine roosting on the ledge in the light from the street-lamps.
This morning we had to go Great Crested Newt mitigating again and again there were no newts to mitigate for. As we were nearing the end of our search we got a call from a former colleague who told us he’d just seen four Bottle Nosed Dolphins from where he was working on the promenade. He said they were heading northwards...Luckily we were well north of him and the contractors had turned up early so we could hand over the site (free of newts) to them and high-tail it to the coast. At the traffic lights we took a gamble and turned right heading further north, away from work. Oh boy, are we glad we did. We arrived at our destination and looked over the wall to see a huge flock of gulls hovering over massive splashes just to the south of us, what a bit of luck; we’d overtaken them!
Got the bins and camera out and filled our boots, they were about half a mile offshore and the ‘four’ were now counted as 12 with at least two smaller juveniles. Steadily they followed the Mackerel right up to the only angling boat out at the time – those lads must have had unbelievable views, probably even got wet from the splashes. From where we were we could see some of the fish being chucked out of the water by the bow waves the dolphins were making. Apologies to Monika for the comment on the vid; we appreciate she has had some truly awesome sightings of Orcas recently but she does see them regularly and this was totally unprecedented for our coast.










video



An early morning start doesn’t get much better than that. Well beyond double chuffed, well beyond triple chuffed even, just think how chuffed we’d have been if we’d have found a Great Crested Newt AS WELL – probably would have burst with excitement! And many many thanks to MO for the tip off without whom etc etc
After all that excitement we weren’t really expecting any more. But come it did...
At lunchtime on Patch 2 we watched a flock of eight Ringed Plovers fly past, a long-awaited year bird for the patch (P2 #67) with a ninth a minute or so behind them. A bit of relief there; was beginning to think we might not get any this year...a scary thought.
Scanning around it was clear, very clear and flat calm in fact, that there wasn’t much about other than about a dozen or so Sandwich Terns buzzing up and down the shoreline. But then we hit another ‘H’ in the middle distance – knock us over with a feather - a Harbour Porpoise! We watched as it rolled several times before disappearing under the surface for good...or so we thought...a few scans later and it reappeared surfacing a few more times before slipping quietly away never to be seen again...superb, brilliant and other expletives – two species of cetacean in one day!!! We then had a little chuckle as by now we had seen more cetaceans today than Common Scoters...that bizarre statistic wasn’t to last :( as we found a small flock of about 200 Common Scoters out in the far distance and in front of them a single Grey Seal.
Mustn’t grumble...
Where to next? Not sure how we’re going to top that but you just never know what the patches are going to throw your way.
In the meantime let us know what’s doing the splashing in your outback.


Monday, 22 August 2011

G is for grey

The Safari didn’t see any Peregrines on the tower this morning and not a lot else on Patch 1 either.
Then Patch 2 didn’t really deliver despite excellent watching conditions; just a dozen or so Sandwich Terns bimbling back and forth out at sea and a handful of Common Scoters. Most unusual sighting of the morning was of a party of three Grey Wagtails going north overhead.
Continuing the ‘G’ theme the only sighting of note at lunchtime was a Grey Seal bottling 50 yards offshore unseen or at least un-noticed by the throngs of holiday makers on the beach.
Blistering sunshine today and it really felt like summer had arrived...at last. But tomorrow is another day and the return of grey skies is a distinct possibility.
Great day for English cricket though...A whitewash sure ain't grey!
Where to next? Yet more patchy stuff
In the meantime let us know who’s on the winning streak in your outback

Some pics from the ‘sunny day’ folder aka stuff wedidn't use on Saturday...





The bee is atop the head of a giant plastic Blue Tit...nuff said


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Four sites in one day

The Safari apologises to those who might have twigged we've been doing alphabetical blog titles and doubled up on 'D' and forgot about 'E'...so no-one did; not to worry...

No commentary today - running out of time so just IDs

A rather tatty female Common Blue at the nature reserve early this morning, not sure how she managed to get airborne...or does she just go round in circles?


Wild Carrot with the central darker (= not white) flower often it's a lot darker than this.


Think this is Field Bindweed, the closed bud was quite pink but the pics didn't come out. As you can see form our finger-tip it's not a big flower


A Tenthredo sp wasp thingy on Wild Carrot


Cinnabar moth caterpillar - is it just us or do they seem scarcer than normal this season?


As ever Frank found a puddle to cool off in - it wasn't sunny enough to properly census the butterflies this arvo but it was quite warm.


At a site we've found Great Crested Newts in previously we could only find this newt sp skeleton today - We know someone who'll be keen to collect yhis to add to his skull collection.


The butterfly 'survey' turned up only one worn Gatekeeper, would have been more had the sun been out.


Haresfoot Clover is one of our favourite plants but we couldn't find any Hop Trefoil on the nature reserve.


Meadow Cranesbill is getting towards the end of its season, still a bonny plant and great for bumble bees.


Only two Small Tortoiseshells were found, unlike the Gatekeeper and the Common Blue these were pristine.


A different Tenthredo sp again on Wild Carrot.


Speckled Woods were the most numerous butterfly found this arvo, all at the Patch 1 Butterfly Zone, but the sun had come out by then and it is very sheltered.


Soapwort, a double flowered variety but it smells divine and seems to spread OK.


Toad.


Toadflax.

Hope you enjoyed today's selection...and not a bird in sight!

Where to next? Back to the patches.

In the meantime let us know how far into your outback you got today.