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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Back in the game !

Last weekend was a washout. It left me champing at the bit all week for a nature fix. With a slight improvement in the weather I decided to run the moth trap on Thursday night for a couple of hours. I had zero expectation but was very surprised to find a single Dark Chestnut moth lurking when I checked it around 9pm. This was my first proper run out with the mains set up, so I was most encouraged. Dark Chestnut was a new species to boot, albeit a bit of a worn specimen.I'll take anything at present.
Dark Chestnut, 1st moth of the year !
On Saturday I was dismayed to awake to fog, but thankfully it lifted so I popped to Grimley. The most productive site was the Sling Pool area. There were 30+ Tufted Duck, and good Numbers of Wigeon, Gadwall and Lapwing. The highlight was picking up 3 Green Sandpipers which flew off the second I spotted them to settle a way off giving distant views amongst the Lapwings.A year tick at least.
On the way home I dropped into my local patch and walked the area on the edge of the stubble field that has a decent bit of set aside come summer. I was hoping for a cheeky butterfly, as the sun was on it and it was quite pleasant. I spotted something bright in the wooded area, initially thinking it was litter, when I raised my bins I realised it was a single fungi.
I headed over, it was a lovely Scarlet colour, and thought I knew what it was, although I had never seen one before.

Scarlet Elf Cup
The area just up from there usually has snow drops this time of year, and sure enough there was a good display, the first I had seen this year. I thought I would go for a less conventional record shot.

On Sunday I circumnavigated Mount Segg, although the navigation bit went a bit pear shaped towards the end, but in a good way as I shaved about a mile off the last section, and frankly I was a flagging a bit, you seem to walk twice as far in that heavy mud. Birdwise, nothing exceptional, but nice weather and highlights were Skylarks, Mistle Thrushes, Yellowhammers and finally my first Sparrowhawk of the year as I got back to the car. So all in all plenty of 'firsts' this week one way and another, and it was great just to be back out there.

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