Friday 25 June 2021

Watching plants grow!

The wind had moved north. Heavy overnight rain eased by mid morning, but never really stopped all day.

Red-Nab and Ocean Edge
Even fewer birds than yesterday and no insects in the rain.
Little Egret 1
Lapwing 1
Linnet 4
Pied Wagtail 6
This is what today's title refers to. A sunflower has germinated in the flotsam of the saltmarsh. It's currently about 20cm tall, but this weekend's spring tides will reach this area. But this is also where the water table seeps onto the saltmarsh, so its roots should be in fresh water. If it gets through this weekend, the tide won't reach this far again till the end of July. It would be nice to have a sunflower on the marsh!
Pretty sure this is a sunflower, hopefully time will tell.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Just the briefest of checks (I forgot to put my leggings on!), but the warblers were quite vocal, 7 species heard around the two main ponds:
Willow Warbler 
Reed Warbler 
Sedge Warbler 
Common Whitethroat 
Lesser Whitethroat 
Cetti's Warbler 

There are very few House Sparrows on the reserves, if any, but there are plenty in the surrounding areas. Janet took these shots of a pair with young in the nest, just across the road north from Heysham Nature Reserve.
Male House Sparrow, with a bill full of food

Not sure what's going on here (MD)
The female appears to have both a fecal sac, but also a bill full of food.
Perhaps she was trying to entice the young out of the nest.

I took this clip a couple of days ago, it is my favourite grass (......I know, you could spend hours discussing your favourite grasses). It's Quaking grass, not sure which sub species, it is a native UK grass and there have been pockets of it on Middleton Nature Reserve since I started walking here in the mid '90s. That said, it could easily have been introduced with garden waste. It is an unobtrusive grass, but its flower heads "dance" in the breeze like so many marionettes. 

The weather is looking more favourable tomorrow, so hopefully I'll not have to resort to my favourite paint drying clip! (MD)