Nature Notes #16

Nature Notes #16

Sparky and I spent our day off walking the trails of Delamere Forest and checking out two of the sinister sounding but in reality serene Dead and Black Lakes there.

Green Man Beech Tree Sculpture at the Whitegate car park, Delamere Forest.

We came across this recently carved art work at the end of the Whitegate car park (where the Xmas trees and village is usually situated). On the reverse of the tree is a message, have a look if you’re in the area!

Autumn reflections and colours at Dead Lake, Delamere Forest. WSM.

The first port of call was at Dead lake where we inspected the hornet tree from previous nature notes. The hornets were no longer in residence but the Common Wasps were still active with critters coming and going continuously. To the side of the area is a steep bank which supported several Fly Agaric fungi.

Fly Agaric at Dead Lake (slug damaged), Delamere Forest.

Oak colours at Black Lake, Delamere Forest.

Above image of Black Lake looking anything other than black.

Migrant Hawker Dragonfly (female), Black Lake, Delamere Forest.

The anticipated dragonfly find was more in hope than any real expectation of seeing anything. So, it was a great surprise to find a female Migrant Hawker and just within its extended flying period. She was still attempting to lay eggs but spent most of the time patrolling the warmer west side of the lake.

Correction: The dragonfly labelled Southern Migrant Hawker at Black Lake, Delamere on this post was a typo error and not the mega! Thanks to Paul Derbyshire for drawing my attention to it. A long day, a long night and tired are my excuses. Anyway, it’s been corrected and apologies. WSM.

All Images by WSM.

05.11.12. Birdlog

05.11.12. Birdlog

An hour and a half’s birding this evening was rewarding with a wealth of birds to be had.

No 6 tank continued to support the same water bird species as the previous evening. Lapwings were in much larger numbers with approximately 680 present along with reduced numbers of Golden Plovers totalling 400 birds. Also present were 40 Dunlin, 2 Ruff and 6 Redshank. Water Rails were ever present and calling from the depths of the reedbeds.

Upwards of 7 Ravens were gathered along the field fence on No 5 tank and, like yesterday were not allowing the presence of a young Buzzard to go unattended. One particular bird was colour-ringed (update on its orgin as and when I find it).

Colour-ringed Raven harassing Common Buzzard, No 5 tank.

Colour-ringed Raven, No 5 tank.

The sound of a Skylark sub-singing from the air was really puzzling until I found it in hot pursuit by an immature/female Merlin. I often find when Skylarks are chased by a predator they will either call loudly or even sing. So, without exception this lark was proving its flight prowess against the inexperienced Merlin by …just taking the ‘P’!

The Merlin was later sat on the fence bordering No 6 tank (below images) and it allowed me to get really close in the dwindling evening light.

A little grainy but close image of a (immature female) Merlin, No 6 tank.

All images by WSM.