A Mouldy Old Day and a Visiting Flame

I was not able to blog for the latter part of last week as I  was doing a first aid course, which did not provide much to blog about.

I was at Farlington and Southmoor on Saturday, the day was quiet for migrants and there are still a good few winter birds to arrive. The Bushes held a few more blackcaps than last week as well as a few chiffchaff. Near the Building several bearded tit were calling and showing well at the top of the reeds, sometimes very close to the path, as  ever I completely failed to get a picture. I went round the reserve to check on the cattle and in the Point Field found the ringers, they had also not found many migrants but had caught a couple of meadow pipits.

meadow pipit in the hand

As  was in the field a short-eared owl flew overhead being chased by a carrion crow, a got a truly terrible picture of it!

short-eared owl (honest)

From the Point I could see a large number of wigeon and a fair few dark-bellied brent geese feeding on the mud, I had intended to try to get a count of them but a good few took flight so I gave up. I did spot a number of sea slaters under some debris though, these are very large woodlice that live right on the tide line, the one in the picture was not actually very large, but still bigger than any other British woodlouse.

sea slater

I did see a few birds from on my way around, a merlin was hunting the fields and a very pale adult peregrine was out on the Harbour islands. At the Lake there was another group of bearded tits and on a few occasions small groups of lesser redpoll flew over heading east. Returning to the Building I came across several curious patches in the grass.

Looking closely I decided they were patches of a slime mould, weird life forms that are not animal, plant or fungus.

slime mould in close up

The rest of the day was unremarkable, I managed to check all the cattle and persuade one that had escaped to return to the field. North of the A27 there were still a few dragonflies flying and even a couple of butterflies.

Although it is not wildlife from any of the reserves I am also going to include one item from my garden seen on Sunday, it is another rare immigrant moth like the Clifden nonpareil of  a few days ago, this time a flame brocade, also my second ever of this species.

flame brocade

I will end with a warning about likely closures to the seawall footpath starting next week. The Environment Agency are doing works to repair the landward side of the wall to the south of the Lake and say they will need to close the path to carry out the work. It is still not entirely clear exactly how much effect this will have although clearl;y there are going to be restrictions on access for sometime. There should be signage provided on site if you visit and when I have the precise details I will post them.


5 thoughts on “A Mouldy Old Day and a Visiting Flame

  1. At Leighton Moss the RSPB put out trays of grit for the beardies. It makes the little devils stay still long enough you can actually photograph them.

    • Here are the ones at Leighton Moss. Taken by a mate of mine last week. Considering my longest sighting at Farlington was for about three seconds, I am green with envy!

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