Firstly , many thanks to Dean/DDD , again , for identifying yesterday's two moths . The first was Oncocera semirubella , a name I recognised from last year once seen , but couldn't remember it , and the second , probably Crambus perlella . Cheers Dean .
Also left over from the same post , the photo of the recently emerged Chalkhill Blue , which I know I uploaded on the post , but then disappeared somewhere on Blogger , and still being unable to edit once published , could do nothing about it .
Today , and tomorrow being volunteer days up on the Greensand Ridge , I didn't expect to be posting till Thursday , but , having worked strimming/flailing paths all morning in very humid conditions , the flail , which I would add was not being used by me , broke down . The Warden headed back to the yard , and with lunchtime approaching , I finished off what I was doing and followed . By the time I got back , the flail was in many pieces , and the repairs needed new parts .
After lunch , the Warden headed to the engineers for the parts , and with nothing that I could do on my own , and with threatening skies , I was sent home . It just so happened , that I took my good camera and big lens with me today , just in case there was an opportunity during the day , or at the end of it , to pay another visit to the Buzzard's nest . I arrived at the site with thunder rumbling in the distance and the light deteriorating .There followed 40 minutes that I could only describe as ' you couldn't write it' .
I reached the nest , to find just one juvenile at home , and it looked like the one that didn't seem as far forward on the previous visit . It was sitting almost motionless , apart from when it backed to the edge of the nest and defecated . From the corner of my eye I spotted an adult fly in , but not to the nest . Neither adult or juvenile called . I never saw the adult again , but a movement some 3 mtrs. further up the nest tree , proved to be the second juvenile . It started climbing further up the tree , sometimes pulling itself up with it's beak . The one in the nest took no notice as the other climbed higher until it half climbed , half fluttered onto a branch some 5/6 mtrs above the nest . As the branch took the bird's weight , it snapped , and the juvenile was forced into it's maiden flight , crashing through branches , calling all the time , and was lost to sight some 30 mtrs away in dense woodland . I heard an adult calling and it seemed to head to where the juvenile had landed . The second juvenile carried on as before , but after a while , started to get agitated and stretching up out of the nest . I just knew that this one was about to leave the nest too , but only managed a blurred shot as it did so , it's body above the diagonal branch and it's legs trailing below the branch . After a bit of 'flopping about' , it started to get it's tree legs and started to look at what was about from it's higher perch , but always frustratingly the other side of the trunk . This one did not try the tree climbing , staying on the same branch for a few minutes . Then , with the first spots of rain , lightning flashing in the near distance and several heavy claps of thunder , it too took off into the unknown , a second after this shot was taken . If the flail hadn't broken down , the earliest I would have got to the nest would have been 4 o'clockish , the nest would have been empty , and the forty minutes watching both juveniles fledge from their nest would never have been witnessed .
ShySongbird , unfortunately my two copies of the Fitter , Fitter , Blamey guide , paperback and hardback , the second picked up at a boot sale for 10p in almost unused condition , are both the 'Great Britain and Northern Europe' versions , so I won't be calling 'drinks all round ' just yet .