Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A Shakin' Fox, an Obvious Admiral and the Mandarins

Ibsley Water was pretty sparse first thing, a couple of little egret, a reasonable count of 131 shoveler and a common sandpiper was all I could find. A few swallow and a single sand martin flying over southward were the only hirundines.

The conditions are still good for fungi and I got pictures of a couple of unidentified groups in the area of the Woodland hide. One lot rather egg-like.
The other group more conventional, in fact these might be honey fungus, although they seemed rather small.
Returning to the Centre something caught my eye on a spurge plant, a closer look showed it to be a caterpillar preparing to pupate. I looked later in the day to see it it had progressed, but it had gone, I suspect taken by a predator, since if I saw it easily, presumably other sets of eyes would also. It was a red admiral caterpillar, so it would probably not have survived anyway as they only overwinter as adults in this country as far as I know.
The moth trap was pretty unremarkable, although a fresh large wainscot was only the second I have seen this autumn.
During the afternoon I looked out of the office window and there was a fox walking about in the car park. I called Jim and we watched it as it wandered about. It quickly became obvious that it was the "head-shaking" cub from the earth by the store. Watching it moving about, head rolling about it was hard to believe it had survived. When I walked out of the door it stopped and looked at us, head temporarily still, so it can hold still if it really needs to. Walking to the Ivy South hide to lock up we saw a fox was sitting in the sun on the far side of the silt pond, it was then joined by a second and it was immediately obvious the first was an adult and the second the head-shaking cub. If this cub is still with mum it might explain how it has survived.
From the Ivy North hide we saw 4 mandarin duck, two drakes and two ducks, so it looks like yesterday's group of three have found a friend. I had bit more time than usual at the end of the day and I was going to count the gull roost, however I did not get far before being interrupted by the sight of someone wandering along the northern shore of Iblsey Water and flushing the wildfowl. So I settled for a single adult yellow-legged gull and went to have a word.

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