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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Pyramidal Orchid, Song Thrush, Spider & surrogate parent!

Tuesday 3rd July I finally found the Pyramidal Orchid in the Lowestoft area, a fine speciman with the lower flowers starting to fade. A Meadow Brown and large Moth with chestnut underwings also seen on a wet morning. At lunchtime I had a quick look at the traditional Great Yarmouth Bee Orchid site and counted 163 Bee Orchids all past their best but an impressive tally nonetheless. Wednesday 4th July, early morning, a Song Thrush was in the garden feeding on the ant nests on the lawn at the back. At Carlton Marshes in the evening, I saw an interesting looking Spider on the dyke with dark slightly swollen abdomen and yellow stripe running down the back, it rushed out to get something on the dyke from the far end of the dyke it rushed back again, it was my first Fen Raft Spider sighting! I'd missed them everytime in 8 visits to NWT Redgrave & Lopham Fen nonetheless an excellent reserve. Also on the dyke were 3 Norfolk Hawkers showing very well and landing on the nearside vegetation. High- pitched "cheep" calls eventually revealed a young chick which seemed to imprint itself on me, it kept running towards me along the path. It ran unevenly, even toppling over, with it's legs dangling in the air and then getting up and running swaying from side to side it used its tiny wings to steady itself but it fell over again with a leg stuck in the air! The chick kept running towards me even changing direction when I walked back along the path. When it reached me and my hand it crouched down and went to sleep! A really lovely bird, pity I couldn't adopt it!! A big thanks to Kyle M, a Carlton Marshes regular who took this great pic (see above). The chick was in real danger exposed on the path not only from natural predators but also dogs too. So doing what all surrogate parents do, using a cloth, I picked it up and put it into deep cover very near to where I first saw or rather heard it, to help protect it. Let's hope the parents locate it. Rather ominously, a male Marsh Harrier quartered the fields nearby. When I got home I did a bit of research and it proved to be a Ring- necked Pheasant chick.


Paul Woolnough said...

Never saw the fen / great raft spider on occasional visits to Redgrave and Lopham Fen.

As you may know the spider has been introduced at Carlton Marshes

Peter Ransome said...

Hi Paul,
I didn't see it there either despite 8 attempts.
I have been looking for it several times and rewarded with a brief view today at Carlton Marshes.