Monday, 5 May 2014

Nobody's Child - Traveling Wilburys

Not even a week yet since I departed 'Harbins' and already there is this feeling that they want me back???? More likely when I called round yesterday morning to borrow a cup of money and they saw my emaciated state (wilted to a puny 27½ stone) pity was taken and an invitation offered by Hugh and Janet for Sunday Evening Dinner. A fine spread of roast pork, with associate 'crackling', and a steamed jam duff about the same size as the dome on the Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre. Much of my time was spent stuffing my pockets with roast spuds, when backs were turned, and while both sons and their ladies waltzed off with the 'left over' puddings the NEEDY were simple ejected into the cold night air. Cold it was with yet another frost this morning and while a rise in overnight temperature would sure encourage more Moths to emerge, we are still doing alright. Nothing new for the property but

were all new for the year while a decent photo was secure of
as the last and only other escaped before being committed to film.
 The Insect theme continued on an early arrival at Longham Lakes
as there had obviously been a hatch of some kind.
 Identification difficulties occur when Dragon and Damselflies are
freshly emerged but these are considered
female top, male bottom
mainly contained on the southern pathway, there were hundreds of them!
Continuing an excellent run of Bees
Betraying its presence by song another 'first for the year'
 Out with the old (left) and in with the new growth
and more 'Plant Life' as many of the banks are now a carpet of
 By the time all of this is in full bloom, will be experiencing a
Purple Haze
 all in my brain, lately things they don't seem the same.
Actin' funny, but I don't know why,

'scuse me while I kiss the sky
James Marshall Hendrix (as if you needed telling!)
 Death is a Fact of Life but in nature nothing goes to waste.
This hapless STARLING (cause of death unestablished) had already
been visited by a
 which had already produced Larvae.
 Despite a male
having featured on a recent Post, whenever we capture an image of this spectacular Insect it's going on the Blog. One of the more active of the genera, they are somewhat difficult to find at perch. This one also had some damage to the right wing.
now incubating by the looks of things?
 There are no vast expanses of reed-bed at the Lakes, just small pockets
strewn along the waterside
 each of which now seem to have its own 'singing'
 A good number of pairs of
have already successfully bred but are subject to heavy predation.
These 2 ducklings are all that are left of a brood of c14.
 One of the small 'tricks of the trade' here is to approach the
Pumping Station and Water Outlet with a degree of stealth.
The rocks at either side of the railings must provide an excellent food source as House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, occasional Grey Wagtail and a favoured location of Common Sandpiper are often if not always here. Today, concentrating on the rock, what was perched on the Depth Gauge (left of the small orange buoy) was almost overlooked. Seemingly fast asleep and unaware of my presence this
 still paid me little heed when it did finally wake up.
 It then proceeded to go through a full repertoire of movement and
functions which was though best to share with a wider audience.
 then the start of a
 preening sequence.
 A bow of the head to show the black cap
 before continuing.
 How does that 'hackle' look now Mum?
 As predicted, while stood there quietly, a pair of
flew in to feed while a
 was doing likewise from the surface or just above on the lake.
A short stop on the way back to my humble garret found a pair of
feeding young, a single and distant
 Equally distant GREYLAG GEESE dropping in
 accompanied by this 'mutant' which frequents this stretch of the
River Stour.
also appear to be doing well as this trio of chicks show,
 there are also c3 other sitting birds at the site, so lets hope for a few more youngsters!
Finally, a fortuitous stop off at Harbins on my way back also paid dividends. If nothing else, I have learnt during my stay here that if Janet reports anything 'strange' in the natural world it is best investigated circa Albino House Sparrow, Buttoned Snout etc. The report from Hugh was that during here usual early morning horse ride she had spotted an 'unusual' bird in a distant field which has recently been sprayed ready for Maize production. Hugh almost threw me into the Range Rover and sped off at high speed to the said field where, for the first 5 minutes, there was no sign of such a bird. Manoeuvring the car for a better look, this
seemed to appear from nowhere. This smaller cousin of the far better known Curlew has been recorded from the farm before but only as over-flying. Although already on this years list it was good to see one on the ground at Parley Court, Janet coming up trumps again. I for one will be hanging on her every word in the future.
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