A finch tongue

This afternoon I had a short walk at Titchwell. There were fewer people there than I had expected on a Sunday, perhaps because it was already about 4pm when I arrived. It was fairly windy but dry, and I managed to add one new species to my list, a lovely black-necked grebe on one of the pools. It was already out of breeding plumage, but still looked very smart: There was also a little grebe near it – a useful comparison! Unfortunately it was too far away for a photo.

On my way back to the car I took some photos of a female chaffinch on a feeding post. It was interesting watching it work at the sunflower seeds, moving them around with its bill trying to break them open, and then spitting out the outer shell once it had reached the kernel.

female chaffinch

Looking through the photos when I got home I was surprised to find something I had not seen whilst taking them (actually this happens relatively often) – the chaffinch with its tongue out!

A chaffinch sticking its tongue out

Brenda writes: “It was warm but very windy last night and although I had 17 species of macro moths, numbers were reduced by half from the previous night with large yellow underwings still in the lead (25). We had two new moths, dark spinach which has a very distinctive resting stance with its wings apart, and a most striking moth, the antler, which has white antler-shaped wing markings, hence the name.

dark spinach
This antler is a female – it’s just laid eggs in the moth pot!

In the afternoon, between services, I surveyed our garden, which is rather more of a wild flower meadow than intended at present because of a lack of time to do any gardening. However it is a real pleasure to have black knapweed and wild carrot. I love the way the wild carrot flower heads curl up after flowering.

wild carrot

We have one plant I have never seen before and I don’t know how it got here, ploughman’s spikenard.”

ploughman’s spikenard

New species for July 30th:
Birds: black-necked grebe
Moths: dark spinach, antler
Flowers: ploughman’s spikenard

Birds = 213
Moths = 196
Wildflowers = 264