Sunday, 21 August 2011

Hot spotting

Saturday morning out on a sunny Carr with flooding still apparent but just the odd Mallard taking advantage of the water which is becoming a bit stinky. I hope waders can smell it and drop down but one benefit is it attracts insects which in turn attract hirundines which were skimming the surface in large numbers, probably up to 75 Swallows, many young and still showing gape and a number of family groups of House Martins. Swifts appear to have gone my last one being Thursday evening.

The list struggles on though with a lucky encounter with a passing Spotted Flycatcher perhaps attracted by the same bounty as the hirundines. Crappy record shot follows. That's 93 on the list for 2011.

Also an addition to the buttefly list with my first Carr Comma. My possible fritillary turned out on closer inspection of the photo to be a Painted Lady (doh!) which have been poor in number this year.

The local farmers have by default created some excellent habitat toward the west of the patch. A field of ungathered rotting hay has attracted large numbers of Starlings, Gulls, Pipits and Pied Wagtails whilst a recently cropped field of wheat with stubble still standing has become a finch fest with Goldfinch, Linnet, Chaffinch and Greenfinch too numerous and mobile to get a sensible count.

A few juvenile Bullfinch are also in the hedgerows but he sound of family parties of Goldfinch and Greenfinch is particularly noticable.

On a final note the Wildlife Trust continues to develop their ditch crossing and following the eight meter bridge which they seem inordinately proud of, judging by the article in Roebuck and the gated access to the wood (welcome all ye poachers deer) they have cast the holding down bolts for, I assume, a new range warning flag pole. But hold on chaps, it's five meters into the site behind a locked gate. I'm sure the range warden will be less than amused and the squaddies will just vault the gate. Strange they didn't look at the means of access to all the other flags or perhaps it isn't a flag pole but just an over engineered gate stop.

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