Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Even more snow

The safari was out early as per usual on an extremely slippery Patch 1. The Peregrine was still on his overnight roosting ledge. A full Patch walk, not that it would have produced anything, was impossible due to the treacherously dangerous conditions underfoot, even Frank slipped over – poor dog wasn’t impressed. As we tried to slither back up the hill we noticed that the Peregrine had left, probably to go and rummage up a hot breakfast of freshly plucked wader or pigeon.
There was a serious amount of snow (by our standars at least) by the time the safari got to work

But the Gorse is still in folower - as it always is somewhere as they say "Kissing will go out of fashion when the Gorse stops flowering!"

A short Patch 2 at lunchtime produced two year ticks, somewhat less than expected/anticipated.

Black Combe - the furthest left fell, could be renamed White Combe today, it rarely has snow even if the other hills are covered. About fifty Common Scoters (67) were sat in two flocks some distance off shore. (As an aside, someone spotted the Velvet Scoter from here while the safari was at the nature reserve at the weekend – bloomin’ marvellous - - suffice to say it wasn’t there this afternoon). Playing ‘chicken’ with the waves were a couple of Turnstones attempting to roost over the high tide a little way down the seawall. While we were scanning the sea for a Red Throated Diver, Guillemot or Razorbill etc a small bird bounced through the scope’s field of view…a pipit. We got on to it but were never going to get it down to species level. We lost it when it came too close to the sea wall but then saw it again as it came over the wall onto the prom. Was it going to land where we could get a good look at its legs…no…but it did call as it flew further away…Rock Pipit (68); not often we get that as a year tick before Meadow Pipit – but ‘my boy’ Little Chris was taken to see the Ross’s Gull a few years ago then said “What’s that that just landed in front of it?” To which the reply was “a Skylark”, prompting LC to say “Oh good two ticks today so far!” Ahh twitching as a youngster – don’t you just love it! When the safari gets stuck on 99 year ticks you’ll notice the count disappear no doubt.

As we are struggling to reach 35F my buddy GB in the Antipodes is struggling to find somewhere under 35C - poor guy is frying! But he has sent these rather summery pics to warm us up - many thanks.

No I'm not listing the Emu!!!

Where to next? Back to the probably even more slippery Patch 1 with very little chance of staying upright let alone another year tick.
In the meantime let us know how slippery the surfaces are in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

It's getting hard to find anything at all down here dave, the cold is that intense. I'll keep trying though :-)