Sunday, 31 May 2015

Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra

Weather-wise it's been a bit of a Wet and Windy May but
 Summer in the city where the air is still
A baby being born to the overkill
Who cares what people say
We walk down love's motorway
Ambition and love wearing boxing gloves
And singing hearts and flowers 'cus
Somewhere in My Heart
There is a star that shines for you
Silver splits the blue
Love will see it through
And somewhere in my heart
There is the will to set you free
All you've got to be is true  
Aztec Camera
Tomorrow's SUMMER!
Apart from that traditional Farmhouse Sunday Roast Dinner every now and again, (including later today) I just love a visit to Janet's Parents house just a mile or two down the road. To describe John as a 'dab-hand' in the garden would be like judging Joe Bonamassa an average ukulele player, while Joyce is always 'sprinting blocks nailed in' to capture the next life-experience! Before arriving there yesterday I had already cleared my Moth Traps but, just for the craic had and at their suggestion, put one in their garden among the blossoming trees. At PCF there was an immediate addition to the Year list as a
PRIVET HAWK-MOTH
was hanging on to the side of the trap and quickly joined by a
POPLAR HAWK-MOTH
Privet hawk Moth
COMMON MARBLED CARPET
already secured this year, but this 'Dark Morph' individual was
considered both unusual? and interesting.
SCORCHED WING
also joined the throng before meeting up with
JOHN and JOYCE
doubtless waiting in anticipation.
It would be no labour to wander their garden time after time but that day
just restricted myself to looking at this rather bizarre example of 'grafting'.
For my money and OAK stump with a HORSE CHESTNUT
welded on top? Don't let the leafs (top right) fool you they are overhanging.
Well, the start could have been better, but certainly no complaints as first out
was yet another First for the Year.

LIGHT EMERALD
highlighted in 'BLUE' as we caught our first at the Farm the very next day.
 COMMON CARPET
 a couple of
 PALE TUSSOCK
 SMALL YELLOW WAVE
 LIME-SPECK PUG
and
LIGHT BROCADE
 were the Best of the Rest, along with a 'brace' of copulating
CICADA
female top, male below.
Joyce and I were now set for a short trip up to Merritown Heath, in the hope of Dartford Warbler, but sprightly 82 year old John decided not to go as he had a couple of miles of 3-strand barbed-wire fencing to put up, a full size wind blown Oak Tree to chop to fire wood and a dozen rows of spuds to dig. I don't know what he did in the afternoon!! THREE LIFERS appeared in fairly quick succession for Joyce with the
 DARTFORD WARBLER
 being a bit distant but enhanced with use of the Swarovski 10 x 32's.
 WHITETHROAT
now feeding young, but for my guest the Show Stealer was most certainly
male
LINNET
Next on her list is Nightjar which are now 'churring' away every dusk
and on the wing soon after, which will coincide with Hugh and Janet
at the same time, and Woodcock is also on the cards.
The latest arrival on the
Parley Court Equestrian Scene.
SONG THRUSH
 By no means Lord Lichfield but thought an
 interesting sequence of mating
 STOCK DOVE
 but what prey are they using as a Bridal Bower?
 Now, does that entitle them to membership of the
 Mile High Club
My personal qualification came on a Virgin (it would have to be wouldn't it)
Airways flight Heathrow to JFK on 06/10/1980!
Memories are Made of This!
I saw the man at J.F.K.
He took your ticket yesterday
                                         In the Humdrum                    Peter Gabriel
and at long last the
ASPEN
are coming to life.
 LABYRINTH SPIDER 'LAIR'
SCARLET PIMPERNEL
another
 COMMON TOAD
video
WOOD ANTS
and
video
WOOD PIGEON
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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Something For the Weekend - Divine Comedy

With the May Bank Holiday now some days away, it has taken us this long to catch up with the 'hundreds' of photographs and notes that would put War and Peace in the shade. Our Regular (and valued) Readers will not be surprised to know that the whole period was given over to Wildlife and who better to share it with than my Wildlife Friend and Mentor
DAVE FOOT
and
GANDALF
With our collective 7 Moth Traps cleared we set off in search of
some Daytime Fliers, and didn't have to wait too long.
High on the agenda was
EMPEROR (Moth)
but the 'male' in particular.
Unlike the
'female',
this one you may remember was caught on the 12th of the month
and shown again for comparison, he is only on the wing during the day
so by definition will not entertain the 'light traps' so other
strategy is required to catch these extremely fast flying Insects.
Now, we have just mentioned 'fast flying', well compared to the above
 this 'Daytime Dasher'
BROAD-BORDERED BEE HAWK-MOTH
is the Usain Bolt of this division.
We chose to show the Best First so now back to just a selection of the
Saturday Night Catch.
In all, the Macro Totals registered
Dave = 132 Insects of 52 Species
Myself = 37 Species to 225 Individuals
among them New to the Property and New for the Year  
LIME HAWK-MOTH
EYED HAWK-MOTH
A particularly 'dark' (morph)
FOX MOTH
and if you can see it, the well camouflaged
PALE OAK BEAUTY
and also a 'dark morph' of the same.
IRON PROMINENT
MARBLED WHITE SPOT
SHEARS
TRUE LOVER'S KNOT
GREY BIRCH
and if you need any more evidence that
We Don't Do 'Micros'
Dave does!
also in one of the traps the first
CARDINAL BEETLE
video
of the year, and while looking every bit distinctive so far
we have only been able to narrow this down to a
LATRIDIIDAE SPECIES?
answers on a Post Card please.
The Insects eventually taken care of it was time for a stroll and to
see what else was on offer.
SAND MARTIN
appear to be thriving at the
recently discovered colony.
There are now thought to be 8 'active nests-holes'.
juvenile
PIED WAGTAIL
seem to be just about everywhere, while we caught this
WOOD PIGEON
napping.
Plants included
YELLOW FLAG IRIS
an excellent cluster of

RAGGED ROBIN
OXEYE DAISY
and extremely colourful
RED CAMPION
To continue the 'Young Bird' theme,
no less numerous
than the Pied Wagtail above
and seemingly willing to
show-off.
recently fledged
ROBIN
video
with a short 'clip'.
MUTE SWAN
introduced their Cygnets
to the world on
Parley Pond
5 counted so far, while
COOT
have only just started incubating.
There is a warning however, better keep the kids well away from
GIANT RED-EARED TERRAPIN

Coot eggs, yum, yum!
and a quick update on the
TAWNY OWLs
with the parent bird still in attendance

as shown
keeping close watch on the
OWLET
video
short clip before going 'off piste.
With half of Sunday afternoon still available it was unanimously agreed
that we wandered a little further afield.
TITCHFIELD HAVEN
was the destination and I was already wincing at the prospect of the
£4.00 Entrance Fee
to this Council Owned Nature Reserve.
You've paid yer Poll Tax now it's time to 'stump-up' some more!
We struck lucky as even before we found a FREE car park
Dave had already spotted the target bird and said he was happy to go back now!
The
GREATER YELLOWLEGS
a 'vagrant' from the Americas had conveniently flown to the
Estuary outside of the Reserve so was on
FREE VIEW
A 'World Lifer' for Dave and new for me in Great Britain.
Many 'hundreds' of these elegant Waders must have been seen on my various travels,
and though distant this was thought to be the Best of the Bunch plumage-wise!
So, not a bad week-end considering we hardly left Slight Return II.
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                     5    Best Wishes go to my Friends there!