Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bug hunt

Who forgot to turn my alarm off?! Seawatch at 06:00, in hindsight not the most exciting way to start the day. Becalmed... but a good day for watching cetaceans, except there aren't any. I'm starting to think there aren't a lot of fish. There were only 2 Razorbills on the sea, and 1 more flew past. These were going to be the only ones I saw, except just as I was getting up to go, I heard the whistle of a juvvy Guillemot (Common Murre) and saw it on the sea with its parent, with a huge fish tail sticking out of its mouth, and Dad sat there with another huge fish sticking out of his mouth. So there are fish out there, but I wonder if they were too big for the baby auks. Didn't look like pipefish. Of the Black-legged Kittiwakes, about 1/5 were juveniles, so they found something to eat OK. Anyway, 06:00 - 07:05, very boring (or maybe this is normal, and we were just spoilt last year 205 Northern Gannets north, 41 south, 2 Great Skuas north, 2 Common Scoters south, no Manx Shearwaters but then at 06:45 the first Sooty Shearwater of the autumn sauntered past - haven't heard of many being around in the North Sea yet, but they must be on the way. Looked like it was loosely in a feeding flock of Kittiwakes. About 15 min later, another, or the same one, came past again at a distance.

So not totally boring, but I went off and spent another hour playing Greenish Warbler calls at high volume at the bushes along the track to the beach. Nae luck (but effectively dragged in a family of juvvy Willow Warblers). A few Common Swifts over the valley, and a White-throated Dipper on the burn (unringed) was the first for a few months.

PM - a visit en famille, or at least en voiture to Fetteresso forest, with the butterfly nets and some sharp eyed kids who insisted on re-enacting scenes from the LEGO Indiana Jones PS2 game along the way - you see what I have to put up with? Or at least I would have to put up with it, if I wasn'tthe ringleader. We only caught 1 butterfly ( a Ringlet) but had cracking views of a couple of stonking Golden-ringed Dragonflies that even impressed Lizzie, and that's not an easy thing to do. Anyway, they enjoyed the bugs and big toadstools ... such as this

and these beauties

And I think this is Sericomyia silentis. Vernacular name 'Fat-arsed Hoverfly'

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