Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dalgety bay - Silver Darlings

An interesting evening kicked off yesterday when my missus asked me to take some rubbish out to the bin. As I went a Whimbrel flew SW over the garden, calling and obviously keen that I didn't miss out on it.

Enchanter's Nightshade

I headed out for a walk around the bay, knowing that since I'd been away for over a week three was bound to be something new. First up was Enchanter's Nightshade in the woods behind the house, before arriving at the sailing club at high tide to find massive shoals of small fish all around the bay. Tens of thousands of them with the occasional breach of the surface and some silver sides evident as individuals twisted and turned. I decided to go home for a net! First though I ran up Erysiphe on Heracleum and a nice flowering patch of Field Bindweed between parked yachts and the bay. Here's a video of a small shoal breaking the water surface.

After a brief loop I headed home and grabbed a net and bucket from the garage. That was the easy part!

Back at the harbour the water was dropping and I tried the slow approach. They swam away slowly. I tried the fast approach. They swam away really fast. Finally I went for the gannet/tern approach and smashed the net into the water from a height - bingo!

Four specimens were secured. Back at the lab the dorsal fin originated clearly before the ventrals and the eye was pretty big, which seem to separate it reliably from the only other option I could see, which was Sprat. Though I've seen and eaten a fair few, this was the first herring I remember seeing alive.

When I was growing up my dad used to wear a hand-knitted arran sweater and had a huge beard. With my uncle and aunt they used to sing folk songs with a guitar in the back garden, and I still remember some of them. We also used to listen to stuff like this in the car on journeys, though I remember a faster version that I liked better than this (by the Spinners, maybe).

1059 * flowering plant Mahonia aquifolium Oregon Grape
1060 flowering plant Polygonum aviculare  Knotgrass
1061 lep-moth Udea prunalis A pyralid moth
1062 coleoptera Aphodius rufipes A dung beetle
1063 lep-moth Diachrysia chrysitis Burnished Brass
1064 lep-moth Hylaea fasciaria Barred Red
1065 lep-moth Cosmia trapezina The Dun-bar
1066 lep-moth Apamea scolopacina Slender Brindle
1067 lep-moth Noctua janthe LBBY Underwing
1068 lep-moth Ochropacha duplaris Common Lutestring
1069 * lep-moth Caloptria margaritella Silver-stripe Grass Veneer
1070 lep-moth Acleris forsskaleana A micro moth
1071 lep-moth Eudonia lacustrata A micro moth
1072 lep-moth Autographa gamma Silver Y
1073 flowering plant Malva moschata Musk Mallow
1074 * flowering plant Campanula persicifolia Peach-leaved Bellflower
1075 * flowering plant Circaea lutetiana Enchanter's Nightshade
1076 * flowering plant Convolvulus arvensis Field Bindweed
1077 * fish Clupea harengus Herring
1078 fungus Erisyphe heraclei A fungus
1079 bird Numenius phaeopus Whimbrel

1 comment:

  1. I do like a nice Herring. Has Seth confirmed what his plans are yet?