Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Trip of a lifetime or not.

And I quote

“thought it was privvy of me to let you know about our 'Biscay' sightings,especially after your efforts off the pier this season!!”

Tally ho;
3 - 6 August 2009 - Company of Whales and Organisation Cetacea aboard Pride of Bilbao
5 unidentified large rorquals (probably Fin Whales), 3 Cuvier's Beaked Whales, 1 unidentified beaked whale, 35 Bottlenose Dolphins, 40 Common Dolphins, 53 Striped Dolphins, 11 Long-finned Pilot Whales and 13 Harbour Porpoises. Other marine life included a Blue Shark and 9 Ocean Sunfish. Seabirds included 1 Sabine's Gull, 3 Cory's Shearwaters, 1 Manx Shearwater and 9 Storm Petrels. Highlights of the Serrantes foothills of northern Spain: 5 Griffon Vultures, 4 Sardinian Warblers, 2 Zitting Cisticolas, 6 Melodious Warblers, 4 Red-backed Shrikes and 5 Serins. Butterflies included Clouded Yellow, Long-tailed Blue, Adonis Blue and Cleopatra.

Thanks Anno, I wasn’t jealous (honest) until I got to the 9 Storm Petrels, but I assume they were well out in the bay and not in UK waters so would only have gone on my world list, not the far more important patch list.

So why wasn’t I on this trip – we had a pre-arranged work events for National Marine Week , maybe next year we’ll arrange International Marine Week but then I’d have to pass on the trip into the Serrantes mountains.

Back on the beach there was exciting stuff going on in the form of a sand sculpture competition. Great family fun. Not all families kept to the brief of wildlife found in the Irish Sea…hope there are no Liopleurodons ( a type of plesiosaur, Loch Ness monster to you and me) lurking out there and no-one has reported Mermaids for a good few years! Not forgetting the giant Octopus about to engulf a ship.

I really like Turtles - not sure if this a Green or a Hawksbill.
Mermaids were a popular theme. This one is enjoying a well earned drink after relaxing on the sand.

Above - A quality Flat-fish made by a family of very young youngsters and their mum. Excellent attention to detail and lovely pebbles for eyes which must have taken some searching out as there aren't very many on this beach.
Below - A quality effort by a local joiner who also apparently dabbles in chain-saw sculptures.

A Liopleurodon - scourge of the Jurassic seas. 25 - 30 feet long with more teeth than a T.Rex

I'm glad the few Octopuses we do get along this stretch of coast aren't quite as big or fierce as this one.

Above - under construction. Below - finished fish.

All good quality fun but nobody made a Beadlet Anenome, a species the safari saw for the first time in the rockpools on the previous day's event, not sure if it has been recorded on our coastline before as there is a noticable gap on the National Biodiversity Network Gateway recording site for the Fylde coast. Also found another three Mermaids Purses, probably from a Thornback Ray and a Sand Catshark (Dogfish to you and me.) Need to get them soaked and swollen up so that they can be properly keyed out.
As if all that wasn't enough there was also the annual airshow starting up in the background.
Spitfire, Lancaster bomber and the Hurricane. A Vulcan was star of the show with more noise during a steep climb than your ears could stand but I missed photographing that as I was in a slow moving queue of trafffic on my way back to Base Camp. Sadly the planes were going to the airshow to the north away from us and didn't come over our bit of the beach so most of the shots are taken at full zoom over a mile away.

The Red Arrows excelled as usual and back at Base Camp they were more than spectacular. They were displaying over the sea and Base Camp is on the wrong side of the hill so we didn't get good views of their aerobatics - what we did get was a garden tick! As they regrouped after breaking formation some came round at astonishing speed, banking so tight and low that their wingtips were practically between the two trees at the bottom of the garden. You could feel the heat and smell the kerosene! Frank had his paws over his ears. By the time he'd looked up to see what made all the noise it was gone and that went for the camera too.

Where to next? Back to wildlife next time out.
In the meantime let us know what's been flying around your outback


Warren Baker said...

I don't like the look on one of those mermaids faces dave, what did you do to her. ;-)

Babooshka said...

A lot more variety I find on our beaches.

Monika said...

I'm seeing cetaceans all the time, but that trip list made me green with envy, both for the marine mammals and the birds! You've got to get out on one of those next time to share some pics :)