Thursday 23 July 2015

A dull boy

If you're thinking 'it's been so long since he posted anything that he must be working like a dog between jet-setting off to glamorous holiday locations', well, you'd be half right. The first half, specifically. The photo year list, around which this blog has been themed in 2015, ground to a shuddering halt on 202 following a Father's Day Terek Sandpiper. After bursting through the 200 barrier in style, with 3 lifers among my last 4 additions, I have had neither the time nor the energy to add to it, with some eminently achievable target species remaining unsnapped.
Silver-washed Fritillary (male)
Gatekeeper - male
Meadow Brown
The closest I have come to escaping the thraldom of wage slavery was a trip last weekend to see my parents in North Devon. Mainly bumbling around busy beaches and arcades, so not a lot of time for wildlife watching, but a walk from Lynmouth up the river to Watersmeet produced a family of Grey Wagtail every 100 yards or so, a couple of Dipper and a hyper-active Shrew - I think a Common Shrew, but how does one tell for sure? Star of the walk though was a stunning male Silver-washed Fritillary.
Dipper on the River Lyn
One of many young Grey Wagtails on the same
And who doesn't love a newly fledged Robin?

Still, August is fast approaching and with some holidays booked, including a few pelagic trips out of the Isles of Scilly, I aspire to resuming a better balance of work and play very soon, making this Jack a slightly less dull boy, I hope. Stand by for an upsurge in average photos, tawdry narratives and cheesy puns in this space. I know they have been missed.
Shrewd move. And he's back!
My book says Pygmy Shrew's tail is hairy, and this looks pretty bald. However, it also says Pygmy's tail is 70% of head and body length, Common Shrew's just 50%. But this tail looks nearly 100% of body length. Perhaps they only measure them once they've been run over. Anyway, that confused me.
Common Shrew has 3 toned fur - brown on top, paler on sides, paler still underneath. Pygmy 2 toned - brown on top, paler under. While this looks 3 toned in the photo, it's a tough call to make on a tiny mammal which bombs around at 100mph in the dark.
Anyway, a charming beast, snuffling it's way along a woodland path.