Sunday 26 April 2020


In the face of a global pandemic lockdown, life for pretty much every other species on the planet carries on regardless. All those plants and animals (plus other eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea) can get along just fine, and probably much better, without us. It's a sobering thought. On some level, we're the disease that's afflicting the world. I'm quite sure that House Sparrows, House Martins, House Mice and Carpet Beetles will be able to find a new niche (or whatever habitat they used pre Homo), should the effluent hit the extractor for the human race.

On a more local level, here's a selection of wildlife getting on with the day job.

This small warbler showed up one evening recently whilst Our Lass and I were enjoying an aperitif sat by the front door, taking in the sun and sheltering from the breeze. It's on its way north as part of the Spring migration, and is either a Willow Warbler or a Chiffchaff. I can only reliably tell them apart if they sing. It didn't. The local nature folk on Facebook were similarly split as to its identity. My excuse was that I was on my second G&T.

A pair of Pied Wagtails showed up briefly, earlier that same day. This is the male, I believe, judging by the size of that black bib.

OK, this isn't technically wildlife, but please forgive me an opportunistic sky photo.

On our allotted daily exercise yesterday, we encountered this pair of Wheatears by the springs on the Tieve Road...

and where just about every clump of Marsh Marigolds was playing host to one or more of these hoverflies, Eristalis intricaria, a furry bumlebeee mimic.

In the flooded fields, a brood of Mallard ducklings were staying close to mum.

As we pottered along the coast road, our ears detected a new sound for the year, the Sandwich Terns were back! And as we're in the parish of Holm (pronounced 'ham'), these are obviously Ham Sandwiches.

A Great Northern Diver was foraging for food in the shallow waters of a bay.

Whilst a Lapwing was also busy feeding in the mud of another flooded field, where the week's dry spell has reduced the size of the pool considerably.

We are incredibly fortunate to have this wildlife on our doorstep as, for us, it is essential to our well-being, a need to know that despite the blind unsustainability of our species' rampant over-consumption, Life goes on. I sincerely hope that you all have an opportunity, wherever you are, to notice the natural world, in all its myriad forms, going on around you. It can be a real tonic.


Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

I think it might well be that with fewer cars and fewer people, and life for many of us being slower, more people will find themselves noticing 'nature'. (That sky is a knock-out. No special conditions for noticing that though!)

When I lived in Dorset I got quite addicted to noticing hoverflies. I don't think I ever came across an Eristalis intricaria though. It's made me feel a little homesick!

Mark said...

I knew a chap once who got Great Northern Divers mixed up with Courmorants­čśé

Coastal Ripples said...

Lovely, thank you. A perfect selection, including the sunset. Effluent hits the extractor. Love to remember. B

Imperfect and Tense said...

Lucy, I am looking forward to warmer, more settled weather, when hoverflies will begin visiting us at home (we're in a windy spot, and I think it's too chilly for them at the moment). It's all thanks to digital photography that I now stand a chance of identifying them!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Mark, surely not?! ­čĄú

Imperfect and Tense said...

B, we've only seen one butterfly so far this year, a Small Tortoiseshell, which was whisked away on the breeze as soon as we spotted it. I discovered recently that a Comma was seen for the first time in Orkney just last October. Are you expecting any new species due to climate change?