Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The long weekender

Nothing quite as exotic as Phil and Mike, but travelled up/back from Scotland over the week.
A bit of a nightmare journey up over night Thursday/Friday with the approx 20mls between Junctions 16 and 18 of the M6 being closed and the detour taking 3+hrs. In need of a break I pulled into Leighton Moss around 7:15 am, some breakie, then a wander round the reserve. No sign of the Marsh Harriers or Bittern, Beardies were represented by a single juv/female zipping across he reads. The Great White Egret that has taken up residence was no where to be seen. Marsh Tits, however showed well with at least 4 seen in two different localities round the reserve. The reserve also boasts a Robin with a death wish. As I walked along a path I had to take great care not to stand on it as it hopped along next to my boots. The Egret decided to put in an appearance as I drove over to the Saltmarsh extention to the reserve.

With the sun now putting in an appearance, I decided to head to Warton Crag to look for butterflies. Despite the wind, there were plenty of butterflies on the wing, but it took a while for me to find one of the key species - Northern Brown Argus. Unfortunately, there was no sign of any Fritilaries. A bonus was Dark Red Helleborine still in flower.

Sat was taken up with athletics, so it was Sunday that I took myself down to my old local patch around the Seafield area on the Solway - now well known for its spring Skua passage. Avian highlights were 7+ Whimbrel and a summer plumage Sanderling. I've a few insects to work through but did find a Diamond-back Moth and a couple of Tree Bumblebees.

For the journey home I decided to take a bit of a detour and head over to the Farne Isles for the day. What a great day. It's a site I've tried several times previously to get to, but weather has always been against me, so it was great to finally set foot on these islands. The Boat trip out didn't start well, as I felt rather queasy... and that was before we'd left the harbour. Phil would have been so proud of me!. However, as soon as we hit open water, I was fine. even on the rougher, bouncy return journey - a couple of sea-shanties put everything into perspective.
Standing there on Inner Farne, with the Arctic Terns within touching distance was magical. As it was rather late in the season, many chicks were fledged, there was little danger of being dive bombed. It also meant that Roseate's from Croquet Isle were visiting and one of the wardens pointed one out (it was above me) and a refound it, or another, later.


1 comment:

  1. Being dive bombed by Arctic Terns on the Farnes brings back some nice memories although I can still feel the pain.