Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Oh no! More empty sea staring

The safari has not been able to get out properly for a couple of days now but we have just sent in our CV to become a cetacean surveyor for Marine-Life sat up on the bridge of the local ferry boat. So more hours staring at the empty greyness that is the northern Irish Sea like wot we did yesterday morning on Patch 2 are guaranteed. The tide was in so no beach activity to keep us amused. There was nothing noteworthy out to sea at all, just an empty, cold, grey void. During our survey work we probably won’t get views of cetaceans like this we had of an Indo-Pacific Bottle-nosed Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) a few years ago which, as you might gather from the name, we didn’t see in the Irish Sea but at Shark Bay, Western Australia…you never know though, off the Isle of Man or the west coast of Scotland sightings like this might be had. My favourite, Rissole’s Dolphin (deliberate, vaguely amusing, mistake there so don’t write in), can be quite numerous in that area at certain times of the year. Also possible are Basking Sharks, Minke Whales but most likely are Harbour Porpoises and both species of seals, good seabirds are very likely with the route passing close to a large Gannet colony and seabird cliffs.
The first full Patch 1 visit was undertaken yesterday evening; the first since Frank’s op. The vicious attack on the young girl has made it an unnerving eerie place during the hours of darkness – not that we’re frightened of the dark –just the fruit-cakes lurking in it! No sign of the Peregrine on the tower and nothing doing in the park; all we managed in there was a Woodpigeon fast asleep on the end of a slim twig silhouetted by the nearby streetlights.
Some snow is forecast…oooohhh two flakes or three? Already a half hearted attempt at a flurry or two this lunchtime. Might get some wintery scenes like these, brrrrr. Snow Buntings on the dunes/beach next week?

Where to next? Patch 1 in the dark again probably, full or partial walk – not sure yet depends on the time available. Must get out again soon – all this Christmas shopping is playing havoc with the safari – wouldn’t mind but we seem to be spending a small fortune but wifey’s ‘Santa sack’ doesn’t seem to be getting any fuller, we obviously need more low cost/large volume stuff to balance the high cost/low volume stuff already in there! Does anyone else have a severe problem with sellotape? I seem to go through miles of the stuff, mostly stuck to myself rather than on the roughly wrapped gifts.
In the meantime let us know what’s giving you the wrap-around in your outback.


Monika said...

How often are you going to be doing the cetacean surveys? Have previous surveyors seen much in your area or is this a new location to look? At least some nice seabirds will be a bonus if you don't end up seeing any fins!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Monika - surveys will be monthly although I won't be doing more than a couple a year, there were plenty of other enthusiastic and very experienced people on the course who volunteered too. This is a new location for the Marine Life team they have mostly focused their efforts in the Bay of Biscay off France and northern Spain - on of the top places in the world for cetacean numbers and diversity.