There is a whole world of small plants and animals that is easily overlooked. Many are worthy of a closer look and there are several things that might help; try using a magnifying glass or your binoculars the wrong way round (both your eye and the object must be very close to the lenses) or close focusing glasses, or a close focusing camera. The animal below is the Black Millipede, Tachypodoiulus niger, about 30mm. long, I found in my store of firewood. It has about 160 legs - each segment has two pairs and in the photo you can see the wave of movement required to walk!
Archive for March 31st, 2008
The first sedge warblers of the year were heard this morning at the Hanson-ARC site and Christmas Dell. Yesterday brought the first yellow wagtail, a lone swallow over the ARC pit, a firecrest near the willow trail and a black redstart near the Water Tower. Other highlights over the weekend included a little gull at Denge Marsh, water pipit from Firth hide and the long-staying Slavonian grebe (well on its way to summer plumage) close to Scott hide.
First thing, evidence of successful Collared Dove nesting (up to a point) was provided by a scattering of squab’s feathers on our doormat.
Then, from the kitchen window, I saw a Buzzard circling northwards. I saw one last Sunday as well, my eye drawn to it on that occasion by the anxious upward glances of a grounded Peregrine which had just been persuaded to relinquish a living Teal by two public-spirited Crows.
There are still several hundred Common Scoters on the sea, but very few GC Grebes. Once the Scoters were flying, Pete & I were able to pick out the white wing-patches of a couple of Velvets.
There were two unexpected birds at the Pools. The first was a Pheasant, not a scarce species in the area but rarely seen out here on the marsh. In fact this may have been a new species for TQ91 C!
The second was a Jack Snipe which fluttered up and settled again under the bank nearest to the road. We hoped it might fly up again as a cavalcade of death-defying horse-riders passed, but typically it stayed put. Years ago, this secretive species used to turn up at Pett Level on quite a regular basis. Nowadays, there’s a lot more suitable habitat in which it can remain unseen.
Lastly, a pair of Ravens passed over northwards.