Saturday, 14 April 2012

Back in business

Sorry, it's been a while. Not for any particular reason; just the iffy weather and a certain amount of boredom setting in with Common Quakers et al. I would never make a scientist, as the Oxford & Cambridge O Level Examination Board discerned many years ago. I ought to be trapping nightly and keeping numerical records. But I'm not and never will.

This morning was handy, though. A cold night with a bit of drizzle meant that the eggboxes had few residents and those which were there proved interesting. Or at least photogenic. Above is a very nice Early Grey, a moth whose complex pattern must surely have inspired designers in times past. I have made all the jokes about the almost eponymous tea in previous posts, so please take them as read.

Below are a couple of Northern Drabs much resembling students after a late night out. Interesting to see their fluffy bodies and, in the little picture on the right, the curious ear-like structures behind the antennae of one of them. I shall delve further, and almost quite scientifically, into that.


Meanwhile the natural world has provided us with one of its many small, everyday tragedies. We have Goldcrests here which are a constant delight, but I fear that disaster has overtaken one of their nests. I was clearing away a fallen branch from a big cedar when I saw a nest with one egg in. Another lay on the floor below. I put both back and hid the nest as best I could, although it with little hope that its owners would return. But at breakfast this morning, Penny noticed a Goldcrest pecking away at the place where the nest was hidden and flying too and fro, to much higher branches of the cedar, with beakfuls of grass and moss. Later two larger Blue Tits arrived and started doing the same.


I don't know if the nest was the Goldcrests' or the tits' but someone more knowledgeable than me may be able to tell from this photo of the egg.  Meanwhile, here is a picture we took of one of the Goldcrests years ago, after our older son Tom - not at the time specially interested in Nature - shouted from his bedroom: "Come and see this weird bird!"

It was a cock Goldcrest angrily displaying at its own reflection in Tom's window.  We watched it for ages, fascinated, as it could only see the reflection unlike the true believer in George Herbert's famous lines:

 A man that looks on glass, 
On it may stay his eye; 
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass, 
And then the heaven espy. 

Or the Wainwright family.

No comments: