Sunday, 6 March 2011

Brown Hares and Chestnut Moths....

As a change I head off the flats and on to the fields adjacent to the Wirral Way. For once waders are not on the menu. It is Brown Hares that are my quarry today. These fields are the best spot on the patch for hares.

So an early start is required, it's not often you see two 5 o'colcks in one day, but that is what it takes to maximise your chances of connecting with a few of these cracking mammals.

Still dark on arrival, 5 Mallard are spooked off the pond as I walk by. Invisible against the black water they expolde into the air and whip away towards the estuary.

Dawn chorus is in full swing too. Wren, Dunnock and Chaffinch with the volume turned up to 11. The dawn is creeping in. No stunning sunrise today. The grey still pervades. Out on the estuary the sky, water and wet mud are all the same colour. It's impossible to tell where they meet. There is no horizon, Wales obliterated.
Staring out I get quite disorientated, it's a little un-nerving so I return to the focus of today's adventure.

On to the Wirral Way to peer out across the fields through the lifting gloom. I love the next bit. It seems like there is nothing there, a field full of nothing, but I know with a little patience and increasing light things will be spotted.

It's not long before I brown blob moves, then another. Bingo! Brown Hares found!

These 2 seem to be a pair, no boxing between them. Another ones lollops over and is seen off by what I presume is the male from the pair. Still no fisticuffs, it's all rather polite on the fields this morning.

A Raven croaks overhead. On to the next field and there are 2 more. One stood erect showing just how big an animal it is. It mooches along the furrows stopping to munch every now and then. Total of 5 so far, one more field to check before heading up to where the moth trap that I set the previous evening is located.

The final field yields 4 more hares. No boxing but there is a lot of chasing and a little squaring up but no blows are exchanged. I spend ages just watching the hares bumbling about in their own little world. This is what I like to do, just watch and take it all in. Brilliant. A final field bonus are a pair of Red-legged Partridge sat in the middle of the short green grass. One for the yearlist.

Off to the moth trap, it's been cool overnight so I'm not expecting much. I'm not disappointed either, there is very little. In fact just the one single solitary Chestnut moth!

A few frames are run off and then it is returned to the safty of the hedgerow next to the trap.

It's just after 9 am and my belly is telling me it's time for a bite to eat. I don't argue, a bit of breakfast is procured and I attack it with gusto then relax with a brew feeling rather satisfied with another excellent patch morning!

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