Warbling

The strange birdsong we heard a few nights ago is back … so we got a recording.  Its a haunting churring sound that is difficult to locate, and almost hurts the ears as you get closer.

We are 99% certain its a Grasshopper Warbler  (Locustella naevia), a summer visitor and a rare Red List species.

Click here to play our recording of the Warbler singing in a hedge at dusk


Links about the Grasshopper Warbler:

Cuckoo spit

The dairy farm to the east of Nettlebridge is still up for sale, and hence the fields are ungrazed and the grass now very long.  The steeper slopes of these fields are covered in sheets of Buttercups.

Large patch of Buttercups on the slopes of an ungrazed field
Large patch of Buttercups on the slopes of an ungrazed field

I noticed today that most stems of the Buttercups have Cuckoo spit on them, not sure I have seen such a bit concentration before.

Cuckoo spit is a white frothy liquid secreted by the nymphs of a sap-sucking insect known as a Froghopper.  Each ball of froth contains a light insect nymph around 5mm long.  Needless to say the froth has no connection with Cuckoos.

Mendip Solar Eclipse – 20th March 2015

Disappointing to wake up to the usual Nettlebridge misty low cloud, however it just started to lift just before the maximum 83% coverage at 9:28AM.

The mist cleared gradually during the Eclipse so the pictures get clearer, and the sky darker in relation to the sun.  But I quite like the effects of the sun seen through thin clouds.

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Typically the Mendip mist fully cleared, and we had bright sunshine just as the moon left the sun at 10AM.  A totally typical Nettlebridge “mist second sunrise”.

More info on the Eclipse