I predicted Skua. If the magic realist patch situation had reared its head again that is what I would be reporting. It didn’t raise its head, but sort of raised a lazy eyebrow. Like an amateur Roger Moore or something, so I got a patch tick, but it was a Hobby rather than a Skua, which was nice considering I was trying to seawatch at the time.
So there am I yesterday, wittering on about how Kittiwakes are like buses and then I go back into the patch again today (cos that is what it is about, this patch watching) and lo and behold I get another patch tick! Which is immensely satisfying Dear Reader. And then I chuckle to myself about running with the patch tick and bus analogy a bit further for my own amusement and your enduring tedium no doubt. In another universe, it seems that a blogger who may be known to some of you has made much the same observation in a very similar situation.
There you have it, not only are bird blogs very similar (another topic of ‘discussion’) but the same amusing analogies are independently used to illustrate a similar point. I’m fairly sure that this is illustrative of very little, but noted nonetheless.
Anyway, the Hobby was chasing a Swift and it was abso-bloody-lutely first class. You may be hoping for a photo, but from the moment I had it in the bins (close in and being shadowed by a couple of gulls while soaring) until it became a spec in the distance of the optics I couldn’t take my eyes off it for a second. In between this, it had changed from soaring to flat-out in an instant as it chased the almost unchaseable. Tells you something about the quality of the spectacle I expect.
Naming wildlife in the old days must have been a pretty easy job. It looks like a cucumber, it lives in the sea – it’s a Sea Cucumber! It looks like a gooseberry, it lives in the sea – its a Sea Gooseberry! It looks like a lion, it lives in the sea – its a Sea Lion! Perhaps not then.
As accurately suggested by James and Harry, it would seem that the little globs of not much (99% water evidently) are not eggs but are complete beings (albeit dead ones), called Sea Gooseberry. They are little jellyfish thingies, and they are classified in the phylum Ctenophora. I did think about loading loads of Ctenophora facts and figures up on here, but then realised that I really didn’t have the stamina for the research. I mean it’s not like it can fly or anything is it? When I say ‘research’, I meant cutting and pasting loads of text what other people had written.
However, if you click on these words it will take you to a blogpost written by Phil Gates who writes the excellent Cabinet Of Curiosities blog, and it is about Sea Gooseberries of all things. He has photos and text and stuff. Click on it!
If you have been reading bird blogs for a while, you will notice the seasonal changes. It goes a little something like this.
Autumn – wow! Birds are brilliant and my patch is full of migrants and stuff! I’ll write about it! It’s windy!
Winter – wow! Birds are brilliant and my patch is full of winter birds and stuff! I’ll write about it! It’s cold!
Spring – wow! Birds are brilliant and my patch is full of migrants and stuff! I’ll write about it! The days are getting longer!
Summer – Oh, all the summer birds are breeding and I can’t see them for the trees. Boring. Have you seen my butterfly/moth photos?
For the sake of compliance in my little theory, here is another blue butterfly with a massively overexposed background. I think it is a female blue one, but it would seem that my bug book is a little sexist and doesn’t like pictures of certain female butterflies.
butterfly doing girly blue
Not mine, but I thought this a good post on another blog I’m familiar with, and thought the final photograph rather good.
Young Bill will take over from here…