Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Surely not more grey and wet weather!

The safari is wet through!

Carrying on the theme of recent days/weeks/months it’s raining again. Yesterday there was an Environment Agency Tidal Breach alert due to the high(ish) tide and strong winds but it didn’t happen. Not that the tide was that high – only 9.3m it can go nearly another metre on top of that. That’s got absolutely nothing to do with all this rainfall what-so-ever just thought I’d tell you about it cos it was almost exciting and news only filtered down to staff here this morning so the alert was late getting through to people, they’d have needed their flippers yesterday not this lunchtime!
But today is a grey, grey day it really doesn’t look like it’s gonna get properly light out there.
Oh PS…I’ve put the spreadsheet into yesterday’s post – had to take a photo of the offending article and add it as a jpeg – is there another way?
Patch 1 was visited in total darkness early doors so nothing at all to report from there, no Peregrine on the water tower, it can be seen in the glow of the street lights if it’s present, and Patch 2 was avoided before work due to lashing rain and total greyness, impossible to tell where the sea finished and the sky started on my drive in to work …no better, perhaps even worse at lunchtime… Did think I saw a Harbour Seal, which would have been an excellent spot, but once the zoom on the scope was turned up a bit it turned in to a lump of floating marine litter unfortunately…doh
So maybe today will be a day for grey birds like the Grey Wagtail; which seems to confuse many an Autumnwatch viewer…lots of comments on their messageboard (OK I admit I read it AND contribute sometimes) about ‘Yellow Wagtails’ keep appearing so much so that it appears the wintering population of these scarcities must be higher than the summer breeding population!
Grey Herons rarely visit our stretch of beach favouring the more estuarine and salt marshy bits round the corner but they are a nightmare in the spring when they try to catch wifey’s fish back at Base Camp’s pond. Grey Plover is a rare and very welcome find on Patch 2. For one day only a Grey Phalarope was across the bay at Walney Island recently. On the safari’s recent visit to the nature reserve we didn’t see any Grey Lag Geese and we have just about forgotten what Grey Partridge look like. Talking of a safari we might twitch out up north to see if we can find the Great Grey Shrike that has taken up residence in the hills again. Can’t believe they bred in Cumbria this year…strange goings-on indeed.
Finding a Grey Tailed Tattler in amongst the Redshanks on Patch 2 would have us cock-a-hoop. As would finding a Grey Catbird at the nature reserve…now that WOULD cause a major stir! A trip to the arid interior of Australia to find Grey Falcons, and other good stuff, would go down a storm, as would a trip to the jungles of West Africa to look for African Grey Parrots, or even a trip up to the frozen north for Great Grey Owls… All of these would be nice but no where near as nice as a Grey Headed Gull…now we ARE talking quality birds. Monika, have you got Gra(e)y Foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) up your way? I have a Grey Wolf in my sitting room; well a slightly modified one but still genetically 98+% Wolf – Big Frank. OK, OK its wearing a bit thin now!
We can all dream our lives away on rainy days like today….

Back to reality with a big bump – remember yesterday’s essay/statistical analysis/lies... well we saw on the news today that a global temperature increase of an almighty 6°C is on the cards within a hundred or so years if we don’t buck our ideas up! That could have the Sahara reaching as far north as Paris! So what has brought about this over exaggerated, alarmist hike in estimated temperature rise? A 30% increase in global emissions since 2000 that’s what. “Nothing to do with us” you shout…”we’re cutting our carbon footprint like crazy”. Well OK you’ve stabilised it sort of so that it’s not climbing anything like as fast as it was a couple of decades ago so you can blame it all on the developing nations. Almost all the rise is due to places like China, India, Brazil, Indonesia etc all those places that are trying like crazy to catch us westerners up in the Destruction of the Planet stakes. But at least 30% of their rise in emissions is because they make stuff and provide services for us – in effect we’ve ‘exported’ our carbon footprint…nice try but it won’t wash…nothing will get washed if we turn the planet into a desert in the next 100 – 150 years! Remember yesterday I told you the planet was only 5°C cooler during the last glacial maximum, now were looking at a 6°C rise…making London the equivalent of Tripoli or Algiers and Paris more like Timbuktoo, hahaha. Scary stuff for our wildlife to have to contend with or adapt to.
Where to next? to look for field guides to desert animals…Oh look at that! A Fennec Fox in the garden at Base Camp…or is it just a drowned rat?
In the meantime let us know what the predictions are for the future of your outback and don’t forget the wise words of wisdom of our favourite non-Native American from Brighton, Chief Grey Owl – We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors – we borrow it from our children…he seems to have a point.
It’s all still a very ‘grey’ area. I bet you’re really ‘greytful’ for all that woffle
Sorry – no wildlife pictures again today.


Warren Baker said...

reading your last two posts Dave - i'm glad I 'aint got any kids. That doesn't help the wildlife though does it. :-(

Monika said...

The gray weather seems to have give you a gloomy, gray inspiration for blogging! Important things to ponder though - and act on.

There have been some bizarre marine sigthings and shifts out this way, potentially attributable to oceanic temperature changes. The Humboldt squid, formerly no farther north than California, has been becoming more common off of northern Washington. It will be interesting to watch the trickle down effects of range shifts like this, but if global warming starts having a large enough impact to seriously influence local salmon runs (the center of the whole Northwest ecosystem) through water temp changes and changes in the timing and volumes of water flows, we'll be in real trouble!

As far as the chart goes, did you make it in Excel or something similar? To make graphs into useable jpgs I've been successful at just copying the graph and then pasting it into an image program like Photoshop, where you can then save it as a jpg.

No gray foxes over here. But up in the mountains you can find gray jays, though I've never been lucky enough to see one of the great gray owls. I've seen the gray catbird and the blue-gray gnatcatcher, but the black-throated gray warbler or gray-crowned rosy finch would be sweet finds. Look, now you've got me going!

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Warren having no kids is just about the best thing you can do for wildlfe - Mr Attenborough's ;atest mission is to bring population control up the political agenda - me i could lose a 40 million from the UK population in couple of weeks with the sustainable use of a length of rope! All birders will be spared, not so sure about the chavs though.

Thanks for the imaging tip Monika and what alot of grey stuff for you to tick off. The de-synchronisation of chunks of the natural world is going to have very serious repercussions in the coming years. Here several species of birds are laying their eggs too early before the caterpillars their chicks rely on have emerged - scary stuff