Thursday 9 August 2012

Things Flying at Night 08 August 2012

                                                         Clouded Border

Another marathon bout of Olympics watching came to an end and as dusk settled I ventured into the garden and turned on my version of the  Eddystone Lighthouse to hopefully attract another selection of moths. Blimey it is bright! As I  returned to the house with spots before my eyes I was delighted to be buzzed by a bat. Regrettably I have no idea of the species except it seemed mid size. Not exactly helpful but with no means of recourse to any equipment to identify the frequencies of its squeaks and even if I had, no idea how to use such things, we will have to leave it there. My delight was based more on the fact that after renovations to the house next to us I had not seen any bats for a very long while and feared the worse as I am sure they roosted in the chimney next door. Every summer for the last fifteen years at least we have had bats flying around our house and gardens at dusk but since the builders arrived next door there has been no sign of them until now. They are like old friends and somehow the world seems OK when they appear. Sentimental twaddle I know but it's little things like this that make all the difference sometimes in this restless world.

Once back indoors I retreated to my computer on the top floor and about thirty minutes later was distracted by a large helicopter approaching low, in the still of the night. This is not so unusual as being relatively near Brize Norton we occasionally get them flying low at night presumably using up the vast amounts of tax payers money available to them, on night training flights. However I was more than concerned when the bloody thing started to hover over the house. This was at eleven at night. Oh no! I knew that moth light was bright but I had by the sounds of things attracted much more than a moth to my dazzling bulb, situated plumb centre on the lawn and presumably visible from outer space let alone earthly skies. Mind you they could hardly miss it as they sounded virtually to be on the roof, so low were they. Thankfully after five minutes they moved off. I wonder if they saw the light and were examining it through whatever devilish, high powered, night vision optical equipment they had on board? I wonder if they thought it might be an Improvised Illuminating Device? Well they would be correct on that score. Perhaps the pilot was a moth enthusiast? I like to think he was curious as to my equipment and probably needed to satisfy himself that I was using only the best - a Robinson - and then flew off satisfied and re-assured. I in turn headed for bed incurring a severe bout of wrath of wife about the helicopter. Apparently it was my fault. 

Next morning up at around seven and down into the garden to examine the night's captives. Lots of new species but as I was examining the moths a strange call came from the skies. I knew it but just could not place it. It was a wader call and it called constantly as it approached. Sounded a bit like a Green Sandpiper but not quite right and then suddenly it dawned on me - a Wood Sandpiper! Amazing! It came over the house heading west and was gone. My 86th bird species seen in and over our garden. 

I think I will give the moth trap a rest tonight. Maybe tomorrow? Perhaps I will attract a Hercules next time? Ever the optimist.

No comments:

Post a Comment