Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Stoatally Different

After managing a couple of pictures of a Weasel a few days ago I had a lucky encounter today, with a Stoat.
I went back to the Leas to see if the Ring Ouzel was still performing and stopped to listen and look for one of the two Lesser Whitethroats that were singing. As I sat watching the thicket, in front of the Cliffs, a Stoat ran across the grass and into the base of the bushes. I sat and waited for a while and it suddenly appeared and dashed off along the path.

It went about 40 yards before disappearing into another thicket. For the complete bad joke (see title) go to the bottom on this post!

In the afternoon I took a slow walk down to the of tramway at Langdon Cliffs. Very soon I was looking at the first Adonis Blue I'd seen this Year. I was lucky enough to me Alan Cooper who know the butterflies of the area very well. Together we saw two Walls, one Small Heath, at least two Peacocks and lots of Small Whites. Alan Cooper had also seen one Common Blue, one Clouded Yellow and about Dingy Skippers and Green Veined White.

There seem to be a lot of Rabbits around and many of the plants are nibbled to the ground. We did find this tiny Early Spider Orchid, it was only about an inch and a half tall and was just about to bloom.
There were a lot of Common Heath moths and they have an uncanny ability to get into spaces in the grass that render them impossible to photograph properly! This week many of then were dark specimens, like the one half hidden above. These are the males, the females like the one on the 16th April are much paler. In the area were single Black and Common Redstarts and at the top of the cliffs I heard both Whitethroats, a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff singing.

At home there were still a few Siskins about but I didn't see the Brambling, once again mothing was poor with just four Hebrew Characters, two in each trap.

And the joke...

Q. What's the difference between a stoat and weasel?
A. A Weasel is weasily wecognised and a stoat is stoatally different

Wasn't worth the wait was it!


Simon said...

Well done with the Stoat Tony.

Steve said...

Nice Stoat picture Tony. Also very early Adonis isn't it! I am yet to get out and really kick off this years butterfly list, only 3 species seen for me so far this year which is appalling!!