Friday, 24 May 2013

Phil's Blogpost

It was Phil's morning today. He started with a remarkable impression of a Nuthatch in the car park, which had me alerting the group to st possible presence. However, there was the genuine rattle-like alarm call of a Mistle Thrush to divert the classes' attention from the fake call. We hadn't been walking long when Phil really excelled himself when he stroked the phallic sheath of a plant & asked its name. It was what Simon King has called the 'sexiest plant in the UK', otherwise known as Lords and Ladies, Wild Arum, Jack in the Pulpit, and Cuckoo Pint to name but a few. 
Goldcrest (c) 2013 Richard Whateley

There wasn't much to see in the woodland, but the winds were terrible, and I'm sure they affected the birdsong. One bird, which bucked the trend was a Mistle Thrush. This was entirely fitting, as one of their country names was 'Stormcock' from their habit of singing into the teeth of a gale. 
Goldcrest (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
 There wasn't much more to see or hear round the lake, although a confiding Willow Warbler enlivened the visit. At the opposite side of the lake was a very vocal Goldcrest, which showed for both sessions. He hadn't been present on any of our earlier visits, but seemed desperate for a female. The pm class hoped he would find a partner soon. We were rounding the side of the lake near the main road, when Phil (again) spotted something which had hauled itself out of the lake to sunbathe: a terrapin. 
Goldcrest Showing its Gold Crest(c) 2013 Richard Whateley

 Song Thrush(c) 2013 Richard Whateley
We sheltered from a heavy shower under some conifers and when we emerged there was a genuine Nuthatch in the parkland. Although it was a far distance away, everyone managed to see it, as it was perched at the very top of an apparently dead tree. During the showers Swallows flew low over the grass, while House Martins and Swifts flew a little higher up. Since Wednesday last week a great flock of sheep have been released onto the 'lawn', so the insects attracted to their dung may be beneficial to any insect eating birds during the summer. 
Terrapin (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
 Willow Warbler at same location a month ago
 Elm Seeds
 Hail Dwalin, Son of Fundin
Pheasant (c) 2013 Phil Todd
 Driday Unmentionables' Ducklings (c) 2013 Phil Todd
 Elm Seeds (c) 2013 Phil Todd
This venue has been very disappointing, but perhaps its just been the appalling weather which is to blame.

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