I was in the wood for an hour and a half and heard the Crossbills again several times, saw one individual twice and also a flock of 4 in flight. They were very quiet while in the trees feeding today but exploded into frantic 'chupping' a couple of times as they were harassed by a female Sparrowhawk. Here's a snap I got of the perched one:
How did it get such a strange name? Here's a snippet from the 17th century Gerard's Herbal explaining it:
'The greater part of the root seemeth to be bitten away; old fantastick charmers report that the divel did bite it for envie, because it is an herbe that hath so many good vertues and it is so beneficial to mankinde'.So now you know! This legend seems to have been very widely spread, for the plant bears this name, not only in
I also saw several Southern Hawkers and Common Darters along the tracks. Underneath one spruce tree I found a Tawny Owl's pellet, I brought it home with me and soaked it in water to remove the contents, a real blast from the past, I'm reliving my childhood! I found a few interesting bits and bobs but am going to get my microscope out tomorrow and study them in more detail. I may try to take photos through my microscope too, having never tried it before, you never know it may work!
Later in the afternoon I had a look from my bedroom window with my scope hoping for another house tick. I was in luck! A Ruff was visible with some Blackwits at Coronation Corner. I was hoping for a Med Gull too but couldn't pick one out today, I am sure several have flown past my house on their way out to the roost last winter but I think spotting one on the estuary will be the easier option. The Osprey was still fishing on the river today for it's 15th day!! I not only saw it from the house again but got a fuzzy digiscoped photo too:
I soon went up to Coronation Corner to see if he had seen anything good, whereupon he told me of the 'mega rare' Pochard at Bruckland Ponds, so off I popped for a quick look, very nice it was too and not even a yeartick. I took a snap of it of course:
After a while I was joined by Gav, we didn't go looking for a Wryneck tonight as Steve was already doing this for us. So we just leisurely sat back and missed the Cattle Egret which Steve saw flying south! Seriously though we didn't see it pass us! We were hoping it was roosting at the Borrow Pit with the local Little Egrets and rushed down there in the last minutes of remaining daylight. There were indeed plenty of Egrets there, but all too soon it was too dark to find the odd one out! Pants!:-(