Arfa milyun up

The Safari has reached a bit of a significant milestone, over 500,000 views - now that's not necessarily 300,000 'reads' but a big thank you to one and all who have dipped a proverbial toe in the Safari's proverbial waters; we hope you have been enjoying the rubbish wot we've ritten and will continue to pop back for some fun wildlife info going forwards.So what have we been up to this week. A mixed bag of weather has seen us doing some seawatching, twitching and dipping. We did a seawatch with the Living Seas team on a day when there should have been some Leach's Petrels about (one of our favourite birds). There was but we missed it as did everyone else on the watch, the closest we got was a Swallow coming down one of the troughs that got our heart going for a bit.We did manage to add a couple of new species to our Challenge, Common Scoters...
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Not a bad little boaty ride

The Safari likes a boat trip when we're away and we're a pretty good sailor, not succumbing to the dreaded sea-sickness and we've had some rough rides in the past. Last week we had been hoping to go to the Scilly Isles for a day trip on the Scallonian ferry but with it being an all day trip Wifey wasn't to happy to left home alone so we opted for a half day trip instead. Our first choice of operator had finished for the season the previous weekend so we had to scout around for another and Wifey found Marine Discovery and their snazzy red catamaran. Turned out to be a good choice. The skipper told us the catamaran made for a pretty stable platform and even though the wind of recent days had died down and sheltered Mount's Bay was nice and calm further out there was a bit of a swell going on. Under sail the catamaran just swished along lovely...

The great Cornish shearwater conveyor belt

The Safari has had a week down in the south westernmost corner of sunny Cornwall, well it was sunny when it wasn't mizzly; Wifey even caught a bit of a suntan!The drive down to a family overnighter near Plymouth gave us 21 Buzzards and absolutely no Kestrels in pretty good conditions for raptor spotting. Dead things spotted included 2 Badgers, 2 Foxes and 4 Grey Squirrels. The following day we drove the length of Cornwall seeing just one Buzzard and again not a single Kestrel. Death on the roads was represented by a Fox, a small deer, probably a Muntjac, a Grey Squirrel and a Badger. A stretch of legs for Monty on Long Rock beach at Penzance gave us a Wheatear dropping out of the sky and into a small thicket of Brambles adjacent to the railway track. Arriving at the cottage once unpacked we gave Monty another stretch of his legs around the ...

More deer

The Safari was able to meet up with CR again for a short afternoon safari out to Brockholes Lancashire Wildlife trust reserve the other day. Weather-wise it was a very pleasant late summer afternoon but there was a chilly breeze when you got out from the shelter of the trees, on the other side of the trees it still felt warm enough for mid-summer. We had a couple of target species we hoped to catch up with and in the lee of the trees in the sun out of the wind there were plenty of dragonflies on the wing which was a hopeful sign that there might be a Hobby about during the afternoon.Common DarterOur other hoped for species wasn't on show from the 'Visitor Village' so we had a look at the fish, either Roach or Rudd, showing well a foot or so beneath the feet of some inquisitive ducks close to edge of the deck. With no sign of our quarry...
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Top day out with the gang up north

The Safari had a day out with CR and our chums from the South-side on Friday. With poor weather forecast we decided to make for Leighton Moss RSPB reserve where there is a decent amount of shelter in the form of comfy hides in case the impeding inclement weather was as bad as predicted.With a late morning high tide in the bay we started out at the saltmarsh pools where we hoped the rising tide would push some waders out of the bay and on to the pools - it didn't - they were largely birdless.There were only a few Redshank and a handful of Greenshank to be seen on the first pool and further out on the marsh mostly hidden in the creeks a small number of Little Egrets showed themselves briefly before disappearing again.Greenshank and sleeping Redshank A diligent observer found a small wader tucked well away in the far bankside vegetation. ...

Struggling with the weaher a bit

The Safari hasn't enjoyed the change in the weather back to more normal summer weather. cool wet n windy. We have done a few events namely a family holiday club rockpooling down on the beach, great fun but no pics...the sand on the beach and the camera aren't the best of  bedfellows.We also did a moth and bat night for a local friends group at their park. The weather in the few days leading up to event was decidedly iffy but fortunately the evening turned out mild and dry and the bats put on a great early performance for us and then the moths followed suit with a reasonable variety and the ever popular with the children, Large Yellow Underwings - big and colourful.A breezy morning up Beacon Fell with GB had us taking no photos but we did hear what was possibly a Crossbill but we weren't able to get a view of it through the tree-to...

Mid summer moth madness and some other stuff

The Safari apologises once again for not keeping you up-to-date with the goings-on in Safari-land. We've been busy and up to all sorts of wildlife malarkey but not had a lot of time to put finger to keyboard for you.We completed the National Whale and Dolphin Watch with lots of people coming along and joining in, many more than we've ever had for previous years' watches - a big thank you to all of them. Unfortunately we didn't see any cetaceans, the only ones that turned up were the two Bottlenose Dolphins mentioned in our previous blog-post and a Harbour Porpoise that we saw a couple of hours after the mid-week Watch had ended when we went back to the coast with Wifey and her sister to give Monty a walk on along the beach and the morning of the second Sunday Watch five Bottlenose Dolphins turned up off Starr Gate but didn't hang around for...

More butterflies and a safari south of the river

The Safari had an errand to run at the beginning of last week down past the dunes, once it was over we took Monty for a scamper on the beach and on the way back to the car found this huge Sea Rocket tucked safely behind the fence.Sadly without the fence there's no way they can grow like this, they either get trampled by people and their mutts or scraped up by the mechanical beach cleaner. Long live the fence and may many more early successional dune plants flourish! In other news we've been enjoying the heatwave even if Monty hasn't. It's not often you see our sea this calm and this blue and the sand looking this bright golden but weeks of calm weather have settled all the discolouring silt we normally see out of the water column and lo and behold our few square miles of the Irish Sea now look (and feel) like the CaribbeanAll the tiny ...

More deep purple, counting big butterflies and other lepidopterans too

The Safari took the opportunity to go back to Singleton church, taking CR with us, a couple of days ago. Once again it was a bit of a wait in the hot sun before we got our first glimpse of one of the Purple Hairstreaks. It was several minutes more before one would show well enough to point the cameras at it and even then it led us a merry dance by flying over our heads and landing on the Turkey Oak a few yards away in the new grave yard.We had a few more glimpses and an occasional photo opportunity  This one is a different individual to the first one as it still has its tails. Both of them were drinking honeydew from the surface of the leaves. We also saw but weren't able to photograph one female laying eggs quite low down in the canopy so we're pretty confident they'll be there next year.Our sightings dried up as the butterflies hid a...

Purple patch then porpoise pathos

The Safari has finally got round to updating our Header pic after almost a year - how lazy of us!Solemn family business took us south of the river a couple of days ago. The journey back held two options, a) bunk in at Marshside RSPB reserve for a walk down to Nels Hide or b) keep moving to avoid the dreaded 'schools out' traffic around Preston and drop in at Singleton church. We chose the latter as Monty was asleep in the back of the car and not sitting up looking like he needed a toilet stop as we passed Marshside.A butterfly hunter was already in the churchyard when we arrived but the usual question, 'seen owt?' was answered in the negative. Not the best news but the Oak tree is large although only 58 years old and the sun was shining more strongly on the far side so we had a wander into the newer half of the graveyard. Good decision - wi...