Friday, 14 March 2014

Some random stuff (8-10th March)

Saturday was a day to look forward to but it still wasn't easy getting up early, particular following a rather violent punch up with my flatmates the night before (all for play off course).  We were still nursing wounds and staggering around the house the next day but the early start paid off as I headed down to the Lizard with Eco Soc to do some Marsh Fritillary surveying.  This involved counting and recording the webs and caterpillars belonging to this rather scarce and precious species.

Getting your eye in is difficult and it took a good long while until I finally managed to find my first army of caterpillars of my very first Marsh Fritillaries.  I did succeed in finding a further three lots, all huddled closely together in the shorter vegetation neighbouring their webs constructed for aiding thermal regulation.

Marsh Frit surveying

Marsh Fritillary caterpillars with their silken web

It was on the car trip back that I noticed a brown lump with barring lying lifeless at the side of the road.  On first impressions I couldn't even be sure it was an animal but I had my suspicions as to what it may have been.  It was only for this reason that I decided to walk back to the site once I arrived back on campus to go and collect it.  Sure enough, my horrified suspicions were confirmed and I found myself looking down on a stunning freshly road killed Woodcock!  Here're a load of pics:

I had a lay in on Sunday but was woken just after 11am to a call from a rather excited John St Ledger.  I was still trying to open my eyes but his urgent tone of voice and exclamation of "LITTLE AUK" soon had me jumping out of bed, staggering around the house and shooting down to the coast as quickly as possible on my bike.  Despite arriving in the minimal time possible, the bird had drifted out of sight and despite our continued efforts there was sadly no further sign.  I excepted defeat and headed for Pendennis Point instead.  Numbers of divers, grebes and Shags had decreased substantially but there were still 3 distant grebes (1 prob Slav and 2 prob Red-necked).  I did see 2 Great Northern Divers from the point but there was little else of note.

The 10th March was my next opportunity to visit patch and carrying only my camera and bins, I paid more attention to the potential for passerines.  The high pitch singing/trilling coming from the woodland on the east side of Swanpool was a welcome sound and only a couple seconds worth of patience were required before the stunning Firecrest popped out from the heart of a Holly tree, showing well before retreating quickly back into the woodland.  This was still a year tick and given that passerines have been thin on the ground on patch this year (including a total absence of Chiffchaffs) I'm glad I managed to squeeze this one in.  The 3rd win. Mediterranean Gull was also still on the lagoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment