Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some images from this morning walk around the patch...




Above - Looking back towards our village over the hay field. Welted Thistle in the foreground.



Above - Howick Burn mouth....



Above - Shady pines in the Long Walk...



Above - 6 spot Burnet Moths. Hundreds on the coast path thistles this morning...



Above - 3 Small Tortoiseshells...



Above - and a dozen Painted Ladies also on the coast path thistles...




Above - This Green Sandpiper dropped into the pond without calling to sit on the lilly pads. As the photo opportunities were not good, the notes were drawn on the spot...

The route took me south from the village past the pond, down the Long Walk and back via the Coastal Path. Highlights seen but not photographed were -

Crossbill 9 flew into pines near the pond
Buzzard 2
Great spotted Woodpecker 1

Large Skipper 3 still around.
Ringlet and Meadow Brown abundant in all areas.
Common Blue 2 along coast path.
Peacock 1 in the woods.

And thats about it really apart from a sad tale to depress even the hardest of hearts...

While I sat taking notes at the pond, the Mute Swan family of 4 were rooting around near the seat. One cygnet sat away slightly and looked a bit unwell. Not thinking too much of it I carried on with my notes. I could hear the adults grunting and squeaking away, like they do, so I glanced up.

The poorly cygnet was dead, face down in the water. After about 20 seconds, the adults and healthy young swam away leaving the sad body floating in the water. Its not often you see the death of a creature in such a benign way...



Above - The adult Swan leaves the dead cygnet...

8 comments:

Emma Anderson said...

Such a moving description of the cygnet's death, Stewart.

Tricia said...

Lovely views - the one of Howick Burn mouth particularly!

Sad about the cygnet though.

Warren Baker said...

Poor old cygnet. Good to see a Sandpiper on the lilies, gives me hope of finding one on my patch lakes. (clutching at straws!)

Stewart said...

Emma / Tricia - Ta.
Warren - We don't get too many Green Sands up here compared to ,say, Norfolk but the few we do get seem to like the small inland ponds better than the coastal ones ( although this pond is only 1 km from the sea its not like the proper coastal pools...). Nows the time, look out after a heavy shower of rain...

Ipin said...

Sad story about the swan, I am confused now, how come all of your burnet moths are six spots, yet the majority, if not all, at Druridge appear to be five-spots?

I'll be walking through your patch tomorrow on my guided walk...

Stewart said...

Ian, I have found mixed 5 and 6 spot Burnets in places before. Check Druridge and you might find some 6's ( and I might find some 5's here?)

Ipin said...

On my wal today i had six spots at boulmer and sugar sands but no 5's!

oldcrow61 said...

Great pictures here. Sad about the swan.