Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A Variety of Ticks !

Every year I pick up a blood sucking tick on my wanderings, usually from Grenofen or Yarner or Burrator or Soussons. This year I picked one up on my butterfly walk at Cerne Abbas, finding it near my belly button the next day where it had caused quite a nasty skin reaction. I managed to get it out of my skin but it took a while for the itchy soreness to diminish. I always keep an eye on any tick bites I get due to the risk of Lymes Disease but luckily I have never had the tell tale bulls eye mark indicating infection.

While walking around Aish Tor last week I found a large tick crawling across my belly which I quickly dispatched and on getting home I found a tiny tick on my leg which I easily removed. However the next day I found 6 of the blighters - 2 on my belly, 1 on each arm, 1 on my shoulder and another on my leg - yuck ! Unfortunately they were the tiniest ticks I have ever seen and a complete bugger to get out, some I had to gouge out with a pin. Not impressed with Aish Tor!

On a less gross tick note I had the moth box out in the back yard again and in the morning of July 5th I had caught 16 species including year ticks in the form of a buff tip (amazing moth),  willow beauty, lesser yellow underwing and scalloped oak. A (faded) green arches was a life tick for me too.

 Buff Tip

Green Arches

A walk at Wembury that afternoon was quiet although whitethroat, chiffchaff, blackcap and a cirl bunting were all still singing. Offshore a lone gannet was seen and a curlew was heard calling from the rocky shore at low tide. It was nice to see small skipper, a painted lady, a red admiral and meadow brown on the wing along with a few gatekeeper, another butterfly year tick for me. A male golden ringed dragonfly perched on bushes by the footpath  near Heybrook Bay was a surprise, it looked quite freshly emerged.

Small Skipper

Golden Ringed Dragonfly

The herring gull chick on the next door flat roof continues to grow. The adults are less twitchy now when I go out in the back yard and the chick seems quite non-plussed by my prescence. There is still 1 chick on the chimney stack but the 3rd chick was in the front garden when I arrived home from work a few days ago. I went inside to get changed and to get a towel to wrap it in as I didn't want to get crap and feathers on my uniform but when I went back to catch it it had gone. I've kept an eye out for it but it has disappeared, I hope it is ok.

Larry Larus, my Herring Gull Chick on the flat roof next door

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