Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Even worse than yesterday…almost

The safari has nothing to report today from the slipperiest Patch 1 ever! After yesterday’s minor thaw there was the usual overnight freeze and the hill was like…well you all remember Eddie the Eagle don’t you!!! In the Park proper we descended the slope by slithering gingerly from tree to tree clinging on to them for dear life to stop before sliding down to the next and repeating the whole ungainly performance again…good job it was dark and there was no-one else about…Torvil and Dean don’t have anything to worry about; a figure skater I am not, and I won’t be doing a trial for any of Monika’s hockey teams either! Back on terra firma now with no broken bones…not sure how…lucky I guess.
Patch 2 at dawn was a dead loss. More snow had started to fall (could really do without it as the novelty has worn extremely thin now) reducing visibility to less than a thousand yards. Sea was again perfect for spotting stuff but there was absolutely nowt to spot, if there was it was too far away hidden from view in the grey-out…bloomin’ marvellous.
At lunchtime there was a slight improvement. The tide had just started to drop off the beach and hungry beaks were scavenging the tide line. 46 Sanderlings is a reasonable score and two Grey Plovers a welcome surprise. Two Redshank and a Ringed Plover simply wasn’t good enough. Yet again we didn’t properly count the two dozen or so Oystercatchers and there was nothing to get the juices flowing in the gulls, a single Great Black Back being the pick of the bunch. Way, way down the beach fifteen Cormorants had hauled out on the sand and were standing with their wings outstretched indicating a lack of disturbance from the maddening hordes.
Inspired by others, like Boulmer Birder, the safari has started an on foot birding year list which basically will only include Patch 1 and Patch 2 ticks – I know I go to work in the Land Rover but I do walk over the road to the patch. Sightings from all other areas will not count unless seen walking from Base Camp or work eg to the corner shop. I have added both patches together ‘cos neither is very big – OK the sea area is huge but we only ever stand in one place to view it, unless we need to leg it to get better views of dodgy waders as happen recently. Updated tallies will be given at the end of every month. Species seen whilst on foot on the patches may have already been listed for the year elsewhere but will count as a patch tick, eg this arvo’s Grey Plovers.
Where to next? Patches only I'm afraid for the foreseeable.
In the meantime let us know what's not occuring in your outback.

1 comment:

Monika said...

Hockey is at least played on a flat surface, your descending of the hill sounds downright treacherous. What does Frank do when you're clinging from tree to tree?