Lade - warm, dry and sunny, ne 4 - Another cloudless, sunny day with the shingle ridges outback on the desert burnt to a crisp as though its high summer; infact, I cannot remember such dry weather conditions this early on in the season since living here. The garden moth trap held 20 species of macros with six commoners new for the year, such as Light Brocade, Dark Arches and Willow Beauty; meanwhile, though, at the Kerton Road café (which is currently closed as per governmental guidelines) Beautiful Marbled and Spurge Hawk-moth came to light.
This morning outback the keen wind kept many passerines out of sight and into cover, while a trickle of Swifts and House Martins passed over south lake early on. Also of note were three separate Grass Snake sightings across the site.
Depressingly, but unsurprising perhaps, amongst the day-tripper detritus on the beach this evening were, several nappies (used, tied up and ready to go), a throwaway barbeque and, a face mask, the first of many, no doubt, that will litter the countryside over the summer months. Its times like these that I loath some members of the human race.
However, now for some good news! Yes folks, for once this blogger is not about to torpedo BBC 2`s
annual showpiece jamboree exhibiting the very best of British wildlife; having watched the first two episodes I`m pleased to report that it is a case of plaudits all round.
Due to lockdown, and all that, the regular team, bar one (more of which anon), are self isolating around the country in their native haunts, and reporting on the natural world from a personal perspective. So, we`ve got Chris Oak-Tree Packham in the New Forest, Iolo Sing-Song Williams in the Welsh Marches, Gillian Beaver-Burke in Cornwall and Steve Short-Straw Backshall on the River Thames, all doing sterling work live to-camera, which so far has worked well. It`s certainly a big improvement on when they`re all herded around a fire-pit somewhere `up north`, mucking around and trying to keep the midges at bay.
Anyhow, as always, Lord Packham is the lynch-pin and has kept the gang in good order, with little of the frippery that has so ruined this programme for me, and many others, in the past. There has been the usual pre-recorded interjections throughout the hour from other self-isolating naturalists, whilst a site in the Medip Hills has been given the old camera trap treatment for nesting birds; well, it just wouldn't be Springwatch without a Blue Tit nesting calamity, would it! Also, I was most impressed with Chris Packham`s stepdaughter Megan, herself a professional zoologist, and a knowledgeable and natural to-camera presenter.
It might sound a bit of a make-do-and-mend-kind-of-a-show, but it worked for me, although it was such a shame that poor old Michaela Strachan was stranded and locked down at home in South Africa! Never mind, we can look forward to her return next year, sometime, perhaps...