Hello chaps !!
Slim 'pickins' in the Sacred Diary today ..
And I do mean slim !!
The only things reported today were the 2 Med gulls on the Mere and a wigeon on the Wader Scrape ...
Someone managed a couple of dragonflies which were a common darter and an emperor ...
Wouldn't recognise one if it landed on the end of my nose !!
Although I dare say panic may ensue ...
Have a nice evening evening friends !
Bert xxx (Still with a 'B')
I have a penchant for horror movies and was delighted to see that BBC4 was re-running Mark Gatiss' thrilling and intellectual documentary, 'The History of Horror', with the last one showing two Sunday's ago, shortly before the Summer Solstace. It all felt very eerie, on that warm, surprisingly light evening. Very fitting then that I should stay up to watch George Romero's Day of the Dead', and even more fitting that I should see something dark and almost imperceptable flitting outside my window. Not a zombie, but something equally halloween-esque; a bat.
Now, you may or may not know that I don't have a garden, just a space outside, so wildlife is something of a bonus. I get quite overcome when a single blackbird drops onto the cobbles outside and the occasional bumblebee gets lost around there. So seeing these bats was really something else.
I have now been watching them every night, and even borrowed a bat detector to identify them, much to the amusment of the pizzamen who drive in and out of the area behind my house (which is also behind two popular takeaways) with deliveries for starving students. Bat detectors pick up the ultra-sonic frequency that the bats emit to help them catch prey (moths and flying insects, rather than anything more sinister)
By tuning the detector (which looks a bit like a radio) to '45' (I guess KHz?) I have deduced (read: 'asked someone and found out') that they are pipistrelle bats. Quite common, especially in urban areas where they use lofts as roosting sites. You can see that I'm no expert, and this is as close as I would ever come to scientific enquiry, but I was hooked. The noises that they make are astonishing, like a fast heartbeat, with raspberries blown in between. I had to reassure one pizzaman that they don't suck blood, or attack people, and after that he seemed quite entertained.
Did you know that each female pipistrelle only has one offspring in a year? There's something about that that I find incredibly precious, and yet with so much superstition surrounding them, I can see why they are protected by law. Personally I would be delighted if these guys were in my loft. Lets hope their current landlord - whoever they are - feels the same.
Bye for now,
Evenin all !!
Bertram here once more with today's news ...
Not much in the Sacred Diary today apart from a black-tailed godwit, 2 little-ringed plovers and plenty of tufted ducks showing off their new children ...
Titchers has been for a lurk around Gypsy Marsh though and he told of ringlet, small skipper and meadow brown butterflies ..
For anyone who may be interested, Titchers , (our resident Geordieculturalist) is doing a guided walk around Gypsy Marsh on July 3rd from 10am unitl 12pm ..
He still has a few places left if anyone fancies learning more about the flora and fauna which resides therein ...
I asked him what the walk was titled so that I could let folk know what to book for ..
'Oh .. It's called A Walk Around Gypsy Marsh' ... Says Titchers ...
When it comes to imaginative titles I dare say that this one probably wouldn't be classed as ' a gripping headline'
There is still time for you guys to come up with something more exciting though ..
Any offers ?
Night friends ..
Hello friends !!
It's that time again where I bring to you the 'ornithological delicacies' of today ...
Beginning with Edderthorpe Flash ..
Reported from here were 2 ruffs, a common sandpiper, 2 green sandpipers, 5 little ringed plovers, 8 ringed plovers, 10 redshanks, 2 dunlins, 2 avocets and 8 teals .. Very nice !!
Old Moor next ..
The Wader Scrape had a knot, redshanks with 4 chicks, oystercatchers, 30+ lapwings, a reed warbler, a sedge warbler and a water vole ...
Wath Ings had a black-tailed godwit, a kingfisher, a jay, 4 pochards, 4 wigeons, 4 shovelers (lots of 4's there) and 2 tufted ducks with ducklings ..
Seen on the Mere were a little grebe which was busy constructing a nest and finally there were 2 adult and 1 juvenile water rails seen from the Bittern Hide ...
There endeth today's goodies !!
Have a great evening everyone ..
I wonder when we will get our next installment of Summer ...
It occured to me the other day that with the summer holidays fast approaching, all of the insane events ideas that the volunteers and I have had over the last few months have now got to get firmed up into something that will actually be delivered in the end. Uh Oh.
Wild Wednesdays have taken an artistic turn with a 'stone balancer' and textile artist taking over the first two. We're also planning the first ever wildlife-related murder mystery for kids... mwah ha ha ha! Watch this space for more information...
Tuesday Tales, a new event with local storyteller Chris Fitt ,will be a great way to while away a relaxing half an hour or so as part of your visit. I also heard from her today to say that she may be playing the 'Dulcimer' at one! If you don' know what one is, have a look at this...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammered_dulcimer Madness!
Finally, we also want all visitors to make a piece of wildlife bunting for our Voices for Nature concert on August 7. I'm thinking we might set up a little table for people to make a piece to leave here - what do you think?
I'm always open to ideas for events, so do get in touch if you think you have one. In fact the weirder the better!
Bye for now.