Saturday, 18 April 2015

I'm So Glad - Cream

It was thought that the Spanish who undertook Phase I of the Solar Panel farm here at Parley had buzzed off without leaving so much as a Bird Table by way of fair exchange., but how WRONG can you be! On the other hand, German know how which was responsible for Phase II introduced Barn Owl Boxes, bat Boxes, hundreds of meters of hedgerows and a number of Wild Flower Meadows. So GLAD I didn't voice any derogatory opinions on the matter, as sure enough back they came and instituted similar 'fine works'. On completion of both parts of the project, the site was handed over to the Stewardship of
who seem even more keen (if that were possible) to continue enhancing the Welfare of Wildlife here. To that end I was certain to 'stick my nose in' with a first meeting with Site Manager Mathew Lewis. Mathew's day to day task is to oversee everything from maintenance to security (a tall order) but has found time to tour the area with me to find out what is to be seen. His own word described it as an 'eyeopener' not having realised just what Wealth of Wildlife we have here. He has also been instrumental in providing much needed backup and in turn introduced me to his colleagues. Silverstone have recently employed an 'in house' Ecologist, Post University Graduate Holly Game who had had the great pleasure not only to meet, but introduce to Parley Court Farm. Her 'PATCH', if you could describe it as that, covers 15 other smaller installations across England and Wales reaching as far as the Humber Estuary in the north, the Norfolk Coast to the east and the very tip of Cornwall to the west - me thinks she is going to be a very busy lady. It would be true to say that we 'hit it off' immediately and she was most attentive as I enthused about some of my ideas. While nothing is in 'tablets of stone' as yet, there is much potential for many of them coming to fruition - Early Days!
We will most definitley keep you updated.
but for now
First for the Year
FLAME SHOULDER
 
LARVAE
likely
BROAD-BORDERED YELLOW UNDERWING
 
HOVERFLY
Eupeodes corollae
were all found in the traps in recent days.

GREY HERON
have been conspicuous by their absent for all too long now,
early nesters they have likely been at the Rookeries but
good to see them back.
YELLOW DUNG FLY
don't you just love Group Shots?
Still here, are an average daily count of a dozen
 
MEDITERRANEAN GULLs
LADY'S SMOCK
now coming into bloom so perhaps not surprisingly,
soon after this shot our first
ORANGE TIP
of the year. We say not surprisingly as Lady's Smock is a favoured
food plant.
This
COMMA
was quick to follow.
With many of the hedgerows also bedecked in blossom
it might be considered predictable that this would be where we
would locate our first
WHITETHROAT
of the Year.
Ploughing has not interrupted any breeding
but is proving an extra bonus for Gulls and lapwings alike.
WOOD SPEEDWELL
and
DAISIES
just before the Green Keeper chopper their heads off!
On the farming front again, local farmer Roger was employed to
sow 18 Acre with Barley, which was just 12 days ago.
This was the same spot photographed yesterday.
We plough the fields and scatter
the good seed on the land.
More Sheep have now been introduced to the Solar Panel Compounds
but this was the first time I have clapped eyes on these 2 strains of the
WELSH MOUNTAIN
variety.
and 5 days later and the
GOLDEN PLOVER
is still with us.
video

video
GOLDEN PLOVER
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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Waders of the Lost Ark - Lucas and Kaufman

We have it on good authority that
George Lucas and Philip Kaufman
are planning a sequel to this Post entitled
'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
You could hardly see the Clear Blue Sky for the vapour trails as we started yet another search in the hope of some Moths. Guess all the additional Aeriel Activity must have something to do the the strike by French Air Traffic Controllers? They certainly form an interesting pattern.
Above the planet on a wing and a prayer, my grubby halo, a 'vapour trail' in the empty air.
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly, out of the corner of my watering eye.
A dream unthreatened by the morning light, 

could blow this soul right through the roof of the night.
There's no sensation to compare with this,
suspended animation, a state of bliss.
Can't keep my mind from the circling skies,
tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

MAGNOLIA
everywhere looking good.
With this being the First Anniversary of the finding of Dorset's Second
 BALSAM CARPET
 we were hoping that things would 'buck-up' around the Moth Traps
which compared with all other days in the season so far, they did.
Best in Show included
HERALD

 FROSTED GREEN
DOTTED BORDER
 NUT-TREE TUSSOCK
and the incredible looking
STREAMER
Nothing new for the Farm List but all except Dotted Border
New for the Year.
In addition we had our first
COMMON WASP
of the Year,
it won't be the last, and first
CRANE FLY
(Daddy-long-legs)
and from a little further afield, but still in Dorset
SMALL EGGAR
SMALL EGGAR
Egg Mass
My informant tells me that the female, having jettisoned her eggs. then
sheds all of her body hair to form a protective coating for them.
Recon one or two of them Fly Boys must have accounts with the
HALIFAX
That's now a full 2 weeks of
MEDITERRANEAN GULLs
nowhere near the c49 on the first day of the month, but averaging
about 10 individuals daily.
GREEN WOODPECKER
Nest Hole
 
and lagging behind the Meds, a bit but no less welcome, this 'pair' of
EGYPTIAN GEESE,
thought to be the same 2 have now been seen on 8 successive days.
The Irrigation Pond
LAPWING
is still looking for a Mate.
It definitely ain't EXERCISE (as in I'm just going to 'Excersis' the Dog)
that I step in from time to time, but up on the Common owners can be
forgiven for not picking up, after 'emptying' their pet.
But what sort of 'perverse mind' firstly stoops to recover the droppings,
then carefully bags it, expertly secures the neck with a 'double sheet-bend'
and 'Matthew Walker knot' before offering it up, like a Christmas Bauble,
on the nearest tree for us all to enjoy.
It doesn't take much working out which end of the
LEASH the ANIMAL
is in some cases!
DOES EVERYTHING COME IN TWO's?
Lightning Strikes for a second time as there are now 2
SHELDUCK
on the Irrigation Pond, along with c2 'displaying'
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER
 This intriguing 'brace' of
HERRING GULL
a 'full adult' right with a 'younger' bird, which might be described as 
a 'Third Summer Type', showing some mottled feathers in the wings 
and a pale tip still to the bill.
and a 'couple' of
GREEN SANDPIPER
are still knocking about.
I am now beginning to think, having had unrestricted access to the main
and largest Solar Panel Compound for a couple of weeks, that this area
might just become the
The INNER SANCTUM
having already hosted c4 Little Ringed Plover, Wheatear, a few Skylark,
a pair of Raven plus c10 Roe Deer but, there might be a snag.
 This near perfect area, for certain Wading Birds in particular, is now also
 'free access' to dozens of
SHEEP
"Yes Ewe".
Opening up yesterday, the whole flock were slowly trudging across the
gravelled area and by the time the padlock was re-secured my thoughts of
any birds had already been dashed.

but 'ang on a sec, wot's that crouched just outside the now redundant
Silverstone Office?
Oh, it's only a
GOLDEN PLOVER
now we don't see the likes of them here very often.
In fact, since dedicated recording began, there have only ever been
c5, in a group, flying at great altitude along the course of the
River Stour last December.
Once again the ST-RANGE ROVER
proved to be the perfect hide.
video
With the hosepipe to the Sheep's water supply close at hand
video
a puddle was quickly formed
video
into which our 'Most Welcome Visitor' immediately
plunged for a Bath and Dhobi.
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