Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Goings on Down the Frog and Toad . . .

A family trek down the road to Far Pasture this afternoon was a bit of a mixed bag.

There seems to be something going on at the sawmill next to the nature reserve, don't know if its been sold on but there's a new big metal gate, a couple of angry guard dogs, and the rough land which hasn't been touched in years seems to be getting slowly cleared. Might be nothing but I'm a cynical old so-and-so and am a bit suspicious of sudden changes. Anyone got any info?

A dead badger opposite the roadside ditch raised the heckles as well. Just a young 'un by the size of it, no signs of anything untoward but as it's the second badger death in the same area in just over a week it also alerts my suspicious nature.

Roadkill? Not so sure
No people in the hide today, probably just as well with my noisy tribe. Good to see the amphibians back at last, over 30 toads counted in the shallows, and lots of cavorting going on.


I had a feeling they might be back as yesterday at Clockburn Lake the place was overrun with them making their way to the lake, good to see so many folk giving a helping hand, carrying them off the paths away from ignoramus cyclists and the like.
It was also teeming with butterflies yesterday, Peacocks, Comma, Small Torts and a single small white or female orangetip, so was surprised there were so few around today. 

Unfortunately it hasn't taken long for the fungal disease to strike. If it's anything like past years I'd expect to see many many more dead like the one below before the month is out.

Not a pretty sight

Amazingly, still no hirundines to report from the Far Pasture area.

Back on the Derwent Walk, a refreshment break at the Gibside View picnic table brought this chiffchaff out in the open :

I had to laugh when it sang an almost perfect rendition (the tune, not the words) of 'I-Tought-I-Taw-A-Pu-tty-Tat-A Cree-ping-Up-On-Me' (of Sylvester and Tweetie Pie fame) in its staccato style.

Tweetie-Pie ? 
There's always something new to brighten up the day :-)


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