Saturday, 23 April 2016
The Minsmere Woodland
Thursday 21st April part 2
There is a pregnant wood mouse by the RSPB's solitary wasp tower at the visitor's centre and people gather to watch her as she walks and bounds around our feet before disappearing into some leaf litter.
It is late afternoon. I walk through the large woodland area marvelling at the amount of fallen trees and dead wood. The woodland though is silent and I spend the time looking at the wonderful variety of patterns on the trunks and stumps.
Another reason to enjoy the walk is the total lack of anyone else around. Don't get me wrong, I love people but sometimes I just want to be alone.
The trail takes me towards Dunwich Heath and along a sandy track I come across a wasp species creating a circular hole. I sit down to watch. Must look up the species and find out what it was actually up to.
Is it a parasitic wasp that has buried a paralysed prey item and lays an egg on it whereupon the poor creature waits knowing that upon the hatching of the egg it is on the menu? Always fascinating, I find parasitism one of the most incredible things in nature. Now what's the name of the worm that lives in our eyelashes?
A sandy area on the heath has evidence of another interesting creature, the capture pits of the antlion. Like the sandy hole that so many are thrown into by Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars, The Return of the Jedi, the antlion has made a pit into which an insect might fall into. If one does the antlion grabs it for a tasty meal.
Down to the shore with not a bird to be seen out at sea. Minsmere at the moment is definitely not the place for a protracted seawatch. Once on the north wall path to enter the RSPB reserve there are birds as bearded tits ping and fly.
Back in the shelter of the North Hide overlooking the scrape there are four Mediterranean gulls to watch with one pair exchanging glances and green weed.
A male redshank has loving intentions and pipes whilst moving ever closer to his desired love. He takes off and whilst hovering lower must be gutted to see the female fly off. It was ever thus.