Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Es komme die Frühling (I think - see bottom of page)

We went to Denge Wood this morning, hoping the cloud would thin a bit, but it didn't - as I type this at 8pm, having set up my moth trap in expectation of a mild cloudy night, the sky has cleared - doh! Since trapping those 2 moths last week I have run the trap 4 times without any catch, fingers crossed for tonight
There weren't any moths "tomorrow" morning, and I forgot to mention the Stoat I caught a glimpse of in the wood

There were signs of Spring, like this Orchid rosette - early Purple, perhaps?

These Cuckoo Pint must have heard the BTO tagged Cuckoos are already heading North from Nigeria

 Bluebells too are on the move

I thought we were lucky to find these early Primrose plantlets

until we came across these beauties


Then, this group of six standing about 3cm off the soil - Coltsfoot?

Great cascades of Dormouse food would have looked super in the sun

 Pussy Willow too

 These spectacular bracket fungi caught our eye

 So did this drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker

 We were also intrigued by this cankerous growth, about twice the size of a football

 Maybe the catkins are better seen from a distance like this

Even the Yews were in flower
Thanks for the correction, Steve, this is a "gall"

The Dogwood looked good in the gloom


On the way out of the wood, about 8 Yellowhammers in a flock, so I took these difficult "identify the species" photos to disguise the fact I'm a lousy photographer

and finally, later in the afternoon, Nancy disturbed this mothlet while tidying up in the garden, any ideas anyone?

The title is supposed to say Spring is coming

Friday, 24 February 2012

November and Bluebells

Last Saturday we took Mathew to the Bluebell Railway for a promised day out, which we all enjoyed. Matt was a bit apprehensive, not knowing what to expect I suppose. Couldn't dig him out of the train to be photographed alongside an engine, but nevertheless he enjoyed his day, and so did Grandad!

This was "our" engine, a "Bacon slicer", that is a BR Standard class 4 2-6-4 tank for anoraks,which was about to attach itself to the train we rode

On arrival at Kingscote the engine ran round, not for much longer as the route through to East Grinstead will be open before too much longer I believe

Handsome engine this one, on the other train in steam, a "Woolworth", for anoraks a SR N class 2-6-0, with the Horsted Keynes signalman taking the single line token from the crew, ready to give it to "our" crew so we could proceed back to Sheffield Park

Back at Sheffield Park there were more engines to see in the shed 

and a last look at the Woolworth before we set off home

On the way to Sheffield park I went via the A2/M2, down Detling Hill and round the M26/M25. Between Dunkirk and Detling we counted 14 Common Buzzards in ones and twos along the way, smashing. None on the way home, but heavy rain spray and mist, not so smashing (luckily!)

Back home on Sunday nothing would do but that Matt and I re-created Bluebell Railway trains on the layout in the shed, just as well I got the appropriate locos!

Last night I put the moth trap out for the first time this year, in spite of a hopelessly dull UV tube, for which I have now ordered a replacement. Even so, it attracted 2 moths overnight, this Hebrew Character

 and this November Moth, in spite of Waring and Townsend saying confidently they don't fly in February, tell me if I'm wrong, someone. It might of course be a Pale November Moth, but this would require inspection of it's genital claspers to confirm, and if you think I'm examining a moth's willie to do this, you got another think coming!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

London Bus syndrome

Having not had much worth blogging recently, there were two subjects today.
Went to the beach first thing in the hope of finding at least the Sabine's Gull which would have rested at Sandwich Bay overnight and been eager to move off downchannel past me - some hope
Stunning light effects, and also stunning numbers of Guillemots, Razorbills and Gannets feeding close inshore

Back home, enjoying breakfast, and this Black and White bird appeared under the window, another stunner to follow the one at about the same time last year - see 29/1/2011, and very similar, too