Monday, 25 April 2011

Confined to the bog (not Wanister)

Bad case of the dodgy tummy on Sunday morning left it being too dangerous to wander far away from the bog.  And I don't mean a wetland that accumulates acidic peat, often with mosses such as that at Wanister bog on the fell.
So yesterday and today has been spent no further than the garden.
A bit of sky watching yesterday did produce both several sighting of Sparrowhawk and a Common Buzzard plus 1-2 fly-over Great spotted Woodpeckers. No Swifts yet but it can't be long. The usual invertebrate suspects were flying around the garden but a bit of therapeutic weeding got me two new flowers for the year in the form of Wall Speedwell and Smooth-stalked Meadow-grass, plus the first flowers on the Horse Chestnut in the paddock.

There were several Eristalis tenax hoverflies in the garden 
This Eristalis tenax was more inquisitive than most
I put the trap out overnight, 5.2C minimum temperature but a very poor night with just 5 moths of 4 species. Single Powdered Quaker, Common Quaker and Double-striped Pug and 2 Brindled Pug were very disappointing.

An unringed White Stork had been seen about 5 miles away and heading towards Chester-le-Street so a bit more skywatching this morning but needless to say, it didn't come this way. In fact it did a U-turn and headed NE, turning up at Cresswell on the Northumberland coast. A couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Lapwing were the best things I saw looking upwards.

Felt a little better late afternoon and bravely stepped away from the house and through the woods and checked the scrub behind the village. Another Grasshopper Warbler singing there and my first Garden Warbler of the year. I briefly saw (and heard) a Common Shrew here, dashing from one piece of Gorse to another and a Jay flew through. There were good numbers of Speckled Wood butterflies and the hoverfly Eristalis tenax again and a few more plants were added - Broom, Beech, Ribwort Plantain, Male Fern, Lady Fern, Field Horsetail and Hare's-tail Cotton-grass. 

Common Carder Bee feeding on the Gorse

Fertile fronds of Field Horsetail

Field Woodrush or Good Friday-grass - bang on schedule

Some nice patches of Marsh Marigold at Brass Castle Pond.

Walking back along the track from Waldridge Lane through the South Burn Woods, another Garden Warbler was singing. I managed to get a couple of quick shots as it poked it's head out before diving back into cover.

Garden Warbler showed itself briefly in South Burn Woods

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear you felt better, Keith. The Swifts are on their way, i had 3 over the garden after i`d blogged off yesterday evening.