I had a walk around Medmerry on Monday morning, from Easton Lane down to the Stilt Pool. There seemed to be a lot more bird movement than the last time I had been there but it was mostly the usual suspects, Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, Meadow Pipits, Goldfinches, Stonechats, etc. I had been hoping to see an Osprey flying through but the closest I got to one was a Buzzard passing over.
It was coming up to high tide and the Stilt Pool held a lot of birds. As usual most of them were Canada Geese to the extent that perhaps the pool should be renamed in their honour! Other notables included large numbers of Egyptian Geese, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Lapwings, Black-tailed Godwits, Little Egrets and a good selection of wildfowl.
There were also some unusual geese amongst the Canadas. They were smaller, a greyer colour, had smaller beaks and appeared to have longer wing projections. They were too far away to study the detail but possibly some form of Cackling Geese and almost certainly escapees.
|Possible Cackling Geese|
There was no sign of the reported Spoonbill when I arrived but returning past the pool half an hour later it had turned up and was showing well if a bit distant. The views were short lived, however, as after a few minutes of preening it adopted that favourite position of Spoonbills, of fast asleep with its bill tucked away out of sight.
When I arrived home I found dozens of these tiny creatures happily munching their way through the Strawberry plants. Thinking they may eventually morph into some form of moth I spent an hour online and examining the Field Guide to Caterpillars in an attempt to identify them.
I had no success but then the experts amongst you are probably already ahead of me. I came across a small passage that stated that all caterpillars have six real legs as do all insects but they also have a number of prolegs attached to the abdomen that enable them to move around. I knew that! but what I hadn't realised is that caterpillars have between two and five pairs of prolegs. My specimen above has six pairs of prolegs so it's not a caterpillar it's a Sawfly Larvae.
Why didn't I know that? It makes it so much easier. I now only have 400 different species of Sawfly to sort through in order to find out what it is. Or maybe not.