Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The green green grass (snake) of home....

Yesterday dawned dry, warm and bright so we grabbed a quick brekkie, stuck a load in the washer, and jumped in the car and headed out to the Ynyslas area for a day of wader spotting. Calling in at Glyndwr pool first, all looked quiet with just 3 lapwing amongst the honking canada geese, despite a good coverage of muddy fringes to the rapidly declining water level. After 15 minutes or so alone green sandpiper flew in and promptly went into deep cover.Deciding to try elsewhere, a quick peek over the embankment on the Leri brought us face to face with 3 stunning black-tailed godwits, looking lovely with their brick red plumage glowing in the sunlight.


A quick visit to the beach car park at Ynyslas gave us good views of roosting sandwich terns amongst the gulls, and a large mixed flock of dunlin, sanderling and ringed plover. However, with the sun being out the place was starting to fill up with families and dog walkers, and worst of all, jet ski enthusiasts, so we went on to pastures new. Trying the pools at Ynys-hir seemed like a good idea, and indeed they were. Apart from great views of more green sandpipers, a real treat was in store for us when a gorgeous wood sandpiper appeared from behind a clump of rushes and began to feed, and chase off the green sands, right in front of us. Job done. Before heading back home, a quick stroll around the new boardwalk looking for dragonflies seemed to be the thing to do, and we were rewarded with close up views of black darters and a female southern hawker, who was busy ovipositing in the damp vegetation around the edge of a ditch. Having decided that we had done pretty well, we cut through the woodland to get back to the car park, and got a shock when I almost trod on a superb grass snake; quite easily the largest I've seen in years, at least 3 foot long. To finish things off, we also came across what we believe is a caterpillar of the elephant hawkmoth.


A couple of things from today to round things off - a check this evening on the spotted flycatcher nest after last nights heavy rain storm proved positive, with both youngsters looking healthy and close to fledging. Its exposed position has had us constantly checking on their well being, but so far they have escaped the attentions of any predators and thunderous downpours. Also, on the way back from said nest check, we had a new tick for the garden with this beaut of a slow-worm, which appreciated my delicate handling so much he crapped all over my palm - a small price to pay for a photo opp!

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