Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Yesterday - The Beatles

Just 'plodding around' comes nowhere near describing my daily activities across the length and breadth of the 1,000 acres or so of Parley Court Farm. The anticipation of what might be round the next corner builds as the wander continues, and whether that be 'rare' or 'common' the excitement remains the same. The unseasonably mild conditions of yesterday lent themselves to a comfortable walk, while cloud cover eliminated glare and no more than a gentle zephyr certainly helped with running eyes, it was just about perfect - bring on the wildlife!
While well aware of the small 'stand' of 5 Fir-type trees at the centre of the Southern Sector of the property since the early days of visiting here, until now nothing had been done to identify them. Out with the Canon, open the E-mail account, send to John Gifford and Robert is your Father's Brother,
 NORWAY SPRUCE
and thought, because of their scruffy appearance, to be 50+ years old.
Moving rapidly on to another section of 'mixed' woodland where access has been
limited during the erection of the Solar Panel Farm an abundance of

RAZOR STROP FUNGI
was found along with a new one to me
 the Bracket Fungi
 INONOTUS HISPIDUS
which I am informed prefers Ash as a 'host' but feel sure this is on Oak.
Another revelation was to find
ASPEN
there as well which, as far as is known, is the only patch of this
species 'strictley' on PCF land?
 There is however a thriving copse of it on Merritown Heath,
which is included in My Patch, which is hoped will produce the Moth
Lead-coloured Drab
later in the year.
The Irrigation Pond (IP) has been devoid of most Wildlife in recent days,
so joy yesterday when a pair of
MALLARD
male
and female
were found there, but not as much JOY as when reaching
Merritown Heath.
Only half way across a familiar but all to infrequent bird song was heard,
which seemed to emanate from the direction of Bournemouth International Airport.
The birds here seem to pay scant attention to the noise of the jets
so the target bird was soon located on an old hard-standing and was
little perturbed by my approach.
WOODLARK
is a resident breeding bird in the County but 'local' and not at all numerous.
It may be remembered by regular reader that a single was seen briefly
on the Heath late Autumn last year, but did not linger.
This individual was quite to the contrary although very mobile in a small area,
was mostly on the ground at very close quarters, was feeding veraciously
and vocal throughout the observation period.
video
A short clip of video which includes the 'song'.
Hope it plays better on your machine than this infernal thing!
A similar visit on Sunday found a minimum of c7 Dartford Warbler,
with a possible further 3 'heard', but no Stonechat. Yesterday there were none
of the Warblers seen but a couple of
 
 STONECHAT
 
did put in an appearance.
It would be tempting too much providence to drive past the IP
where on the return journey the 'local' family of
MUTE SWANs
had arrived, minus one of the juveniles. Good to see them again and thought
deserving of a scoop of Barley!
At the same time the 'monthly' inspection was made of the
8 sheets of metal laid to attract hibernating
Reptiles and/or Amphibians.
Again it was only NEWTS that were in residence, which
had increased in numbers from 17 to 21.
Thus far they had not been 'possitively' identified but
from their first appearance were considered to be
SMOOTH (Common) NEWT
I am informed that confirmation is more accurate when the underparts
are examined, so a very quick and gentle 'snap'
was taken confirming previous thoughts.
Arriving back at Harbins Farmhouse, this
LITTLE EGRET
was simply stood stationary, no more than a few yards away,
at the side of Parley Pond.
Little ruffled by my approach in the car an opportunity was taken
to loose off a few shots.
Most obliging it went through a series of contortions
making for what was considered to be
an interesting series of images.
While most of the days encounters had been of the 'close' kind
it was left to this male
KESTREL
to break the duck. A closer view was attempted but........

To end a most exciting day, mid-afternoon c2
McDONNALL DOUGLAS F15 EAGLE
All Weather Tactical Fighter Aircraft
took off from Bournemouth International Airport
Our THANKS go once again to John Gifford for his 'invaluable' help.
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