Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Clear Skies

The safari experienced a beautiful dawn this morning with ICE! The first week of October isn’t over yet and we get the first frosty morning. Crispy long grass on Patch 1 and an hour later the screen demister on the Land Rover was required. Brrrrr! It’s a long time since I’ve been out and my cheeks and ears have been tingling from the cold. A taste of things to come…
Orion was over the southern horizon, his starry belt twinkling below the waning moon. Venus was shining bright and strong in the east above the distant hills, Beacon Fell, Parlick, Wolf Fell and ‘Mount Fuji’ which were crisply silhouetted in the cold dawn air by the steadily glowing light of the early morning sky. Looking westwards towards the sea the sky was a deep, dark midnight blue – that can’t be right ‘midnight’ at 6 o’clock in the morning!
Having waxed lyrical for a few lines what was the wildlife doing at that time of the morning? Nothing! Far too early for the Robins and Blackbirds, not even the Magpies roosting in Magpie Wood had begun to stir.
All was quiet at Patch 2 too. In total contrast to Saturday’s maelstrom the gently lapping swell was struggling to reach the beach this morning. There were a large number of Common Scoters scattered as far as the eye could see in all directions but nothing else except for a single male Eider winging its way south and a lost and lonely Pink Footed Goose flying north, obviously lost his several thousand chums somehow. Out towards the Lake District there was a weird greenish-yellowy fug hanging over the water - so weird that my work colleague who had been out for a pre-work jog mentioned itasking me if i had been out and seen iit and if so what was it? "Yes and no idea", said I.
Nine bait diggers were on the waterline sucking up Lugworms for fun, these new-fangled siphons/pumps whatever they are making it far easier than back- breaking digging with a spade. But they also mean that far more worms are removed – I wonder how sustainable the ‘predation’ rate is and what about the disturbance, to wading birds in particular, of having humans at wandering about regular intervals in their habitat. The gulls don’t seem so bothered.
Lunchtime at Patch 2 was no better. The Scoters are all still there and the odd one out is still hiding in the pack. 9 Sanderlings dodged the incoming tide before heading off to find a dry roosting site. Quality sighting from Patch 2 was a Sea Slater – ohh it was that good.
Picture has been ‘stolen’ from my mate so I hope he doesn’t mind me using it here and don’t any one else be using it please.
In the gardens at work was a nice flock of 16 Greenfinches feeding on the Rosa rugosa hips, probably migrants stopping to refuel, 3 Robins ticking at each other with the occasional burst of song and a Dunnock. Yes the garden is exciting today!
Where to next? More of the same tomorrow I’m afraid.
In the meantime as it’s the season of ‘all change’ let us know what’s new in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

bloody cold 'ere this am too dave. Keep 'em peeled!