Sunday, 16 March 2014

Slime and Murder

Sunday March 16
Pre breakfast on a beautiful, cloudless morning, we set out to check on the progress of the slime mould at Barton Broad. A Chiffchaff was singing as I turned onto the boardwalk and ........was confronted by the freshly dead corpse of a Woodcock. It looked whole until Pam turned it over with her foot and found its breast had been eaten. No feathers around, we think the killer was a mammal. Which one? Not one with a large appetite.

 We were soon upon the slime mould, which was more convex and a less white colour than it was five days ago. We must have caught it at an early stage.  The photographs on the web are very variable. It will be interesting to have another look in a few days to compare.

A few very vocal Wrens this morning, little else until nearing the platform when I saw a Cetti's Warbler sat near the top of a tree in its favoured territory near the platform. They call loud and clear but are infrequently seen well.
The usual Great Crested Grebes, Mute Swans, Coot and Black-headed Gulls on and over the water. Some skulking Mallard and Greylag along the Broad fringes. I then saw one Little Gull disappear up a distant side channel but was unable to get Pam onto it. I thought that 'low over the water behind the green boat, now dipping' was obvious, until I put my bins down and saw that there were two green boats very near each other !
After a drink, we left for Cley Centre and a fresh cheese scone whilst comtemplating our next move. 
We met P again on the way in. A lucky meeting as Pam has mislaid her Email address.
Apart from a large group of Avocet, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, a few hundred bathing Brent Geese and a small flock of Lapwing, Cley Marsh pools were not enticing. There's still a lot of water and the salty inundation will not have done the food supply any good. We didn't see any Marsh Harriers at all, were all the small mammals killed? I expect that if we'd walked to the newly re-opened hides, we'd have seen many more species but nothing untoward.Although three Swallows were reported, a two and a single, passing through late morning, we didn't see them. Salthouse doesn't have a car park, many parked cars along the road makes turning very difficult which is off putting. I miss my hot chocolate made by Julian. I should think that his trade has dropped off too. I wonder if the old boys who used to sit round his van still do so.
The garden jobs called - and the dread of the Man U/Liverpool match. Home to work on the wildlife mansion (Pam) and to try to put a flatpack together (me). I didn't succeed, holes not bored all the way through, minimal instructions - 5 drawings only - and I gave up. I don't do that easily but my tools were inadequate too. Yes, I know, a bad workman always blames their tools. In my case, it was a lack of them .
Yes, Man U's performance - I use the term loosely - was dreadful, a 0-3 loss at home. The season gets worse. Ignominy may well be repeated on Wednesday when it will be a miracle if a deficit against Olympiacos in the European Cup can be overcome.
Go away Moyes. Typical of him. He put on a defender - Ferdinand - and took off a forward towards the end of the match. I was sceptical when he was appointed......I'd love him to prove me wrong. I just don't like his defensive mindset.

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