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Save Dunmanus Bay

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Break In The Clouds

We had a little break in the weather this week, and I took advantage of it on Thursday, and went to see what had happened in the botanical world of the road verges here and in the bay with the birds too, of course. Most importantly, we had a light breeze, one which would not lift birds to the other side of the Atlantic. Mind you, I had no idea how long the Rain would grant me; it was forecasted for later again, as was its mate, strong winds. Still, I lingered in the porch for about 10 minutes, when a Common Grasshopper was blown in or flown in{or hopped} in front of me! I was fascinated by how it made the weird short hushz, hushz sound by moving its abdomen up and down.

Along the residential part of the back road, an array of Giant Hogweeds had sprung up since my last time and the sight of new growth delighted me even more, after the shearer had taken down most of what had been there the last time. With only Brambles, Nettles and a few late Honeysuckles remaining. At the top 10 young Chaffinches were flying around and feeding in the edges of the road, and I just love how Chaffs have that typical little hop. There is no other bird which can copy a Chaffinch, I think; these lovely birds are in a class of their own. I was also amazed at the many Moths flying around me. I still have a lot of trouble with trying to locate my subject in the midst of its backdrop, and hence the absence of their pictures. This is a pity because ‘the Unknown Wave’ especially sat quite still for me in its pose. These Small Moths are a perfect camouflage when resting on a dead Bramble leaf, which threw me too, although I had seen it. I’d hoped to be able to ID which Small Wave it was, with a photo, but no luck apparently. A Dark Arches also flew around; this one remained in the air though.
Only a few Butterflies were around, a Common Blue, a Brown Hairstreak, one unknown to me, see photo, and a Large White. Besides, the wind had picked up again and I needed to make some headway if I still wanted to get to my little strand before it either would get too cold or I would be caught in a shower.
Those moths must have been anticipating this change in the weather; soon after I didn’t see any at all. And then you start to wonder is it coincidence that there was not one bright moth or butterfly around? And why had I seen so many Moths in the air compared to other days? I know that we have a new generation, yet that was not reason enough. I suspected it had to do with the weather. The Sun in the sky might mean nice weather with Sunshine, yet there was moisture in the air. And not because I was getting closer to the strand.
Down and back at the bay, and above the little strand, there was not much life around either. The Wild Strawberries had finished flowering and some had starting creating fruit. Only here and there, a single white flower was peeking through the sea of glossy leaves.

Across the road a coach was emptying again for a visit to Kilvorack Gardens. I had to smile. In the village I’d met the tourists already in the shop when I did my shopping a few hours earlier, and those stopping and drifting into the shop en masse had delayed me quite a lot in me getting away again. I decided to go on a little further to see what or who else was about. Here it was apparent too that after the Shearer had taken off all growth along Hedgerows, and along the lower edge of the roads, all over, there was this one Wild Flower which popped up everywhere; Giant Hogweed. The shearer had done a lot of good too, of course in rejuvenating the hedgerows and the torrential rain had in a way helped growth along too.
On my way back I spotted 4 Mute Swans and for a moment I hoped that it was the other pair I’d seen with its young and that it was still alive, and perhaps hiding between two of them. Of course I also knew that this was wishful thinking and as I got closer I was soon brought back to reality. It is not too often that I see more than the one pair close up; usually they are across the bay, in a sheltered spot, too far off for pictures. Now though, all four were willing to pose for me and Miss Lumix.
The Swallows were everywhere again, yet I am still sad that there are so few of them compared with other years; assuming that the main reason for this is the situation in their wintering grounds in South Africa.

Great Black backed GullMute SwanFirst year's Black headed Gull and adult Herring GullBlack-headed Gull enjoying the BreezeSwallowsMystery FlowerBee and Fly on G. HogweedLargeWhite ButterflyMystery Butterfly
Common Grasshopper in the porchPiedWagtailBlackheaded Gull, losing summer plumageNew growth after the haircut and the recent rainsGiant Hogweed, sprouting up everywhere


  1. is your mystery butterfly a speckled wood?

    is it wet near you?

  2. thanks Pete, I had considered Specled Wood too; however I've the feeling this one was a tat lighter, but I might be mistaken.

    Wet here? When I look out the window? Most definitely! LOL.
    It might be far above the bay, yet I've seen other Marshy plants up there, so I think the answer could well be Yes.

    Mind, I'm most taken by my Grasshopper. Such a cutie from close up. Almost as relaxed as Usain. Looking left and right. Must've been quite a party down in Jamaca, after the double.

  3. Great pictures Yoke. I haven't seen a grasshopper in these parts for a long, long time.

  4. Was a first for me too, Crow since sometime I cannot rermember, even. Which is why it took me an awful long time to ID it. Mind, I was very excited about the critter {whatever it would turn out to be} all the way to the bay, and back. And it has me convinced that I do need a book on Insects too. I have no idea what kind of Grasshoppers there are. It was my lately acquired Collins British Wildlife Guide which thought {does a book think?} this might be a Common Field Grasshopper and the omission of Field is merely a typo, but did set me thinking. I still got no ID on the Beetle, another reason to get a book.

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  6. like grasshoppers and see them here most years. There's one in my bedroom now - don't know how they manage to get there though! I'm always surprised to see them come into house!!

  7. cannot remember seeing one indoors, mind the way it had just flown into the porch from nowhere at all, I think wind is what gets them through your open window.

    I'm now realising that there's lots of life in that porch. its open at the front, no door, and this is what allows it all in. The cat can stare for hours out of the window, and I can see now what's she is looking at. I might join her, next time.
    Which birds would feed on Hoppers? And can we see a picture of your Hopper, Tricia?

  8. I wish I could produce a picture. Went to take one this a.m. but the hopper has moved on!!

  9. It might still be there though; do not be surprised whenever yuo hear this funny husz sound during the night, Tricia; and you thinking in your dream that catching up on sleep might have been a possibility. Grandson would have liked seeing it. Including the accompanying lecture.


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