Monday, 18 January 2010

To tick or not to tick…

The safari is in a bit of a quandary; but more of that in a mo.
Patch 1 saw us tick Fox (3) for the mammal year list as it sauntered across the main road and into our street late last night. I spotted it but, thankfully, Frank didn’t otherwise we would have been down the hill at an uncontrollable gallop. This morning the Peregrine was back on its favoured roosting ledge. I’m fairly sure it has ‘probably’ been there all the time it was ‘missing’ but with the wind in the ‘other’ direction it was out of sight round the back – if a circular tower can have a back and a front. But then that’s probability for you. Was the probable American Bittern actually one? Until it is ‘definitely’ seen again, it is just that, ‘probable’; an extremely experienced observer’s judgement call on a not-quite-clinchable view in the gloom of dusk can’t be ruled out; if you don’t shout you don’t get! No-one would have been out looking and checking yesterday if he’d have kept shhtum and the opportunity to see a decidedly mega bird definitely lost. As for yesterday’s probable Yellow Legged Gull we noticed on the Fylde Bird Club sightings page for yesterday that it had been upgraded from my ‘probable’ to a definite. This morning we had an email chat with the very informative CB (of the Fylde’s recent, and only, Caspian Gull fame), after that chat and a good look at the range of variation of adults on Google Images it’s now a case of it was one– sod it it’s now ticked and added to the list. JS had already ticked it. Yellow Legged Gull (84)…I have to say I was already pretty convinced yesterday, sort of 95%+ but not quite 100% if you get my drift. Well it makes up for knocking off the tame Barnacle Geese, a much wilder (‘probably’ wild) candidate flew over the nature reserve yesterday but we didn’t check through the skein of Pink Footed Geese it was hiding in; that’ll teach us – won’t it!!!. A trawl through last week’s sightings on the FBC page revealed a massive 38 species in the Fylde not yet seen by the safari this year, but we have only been to four sites. On that list there is one lifer (must get down to the marshes to tick that one off one day!), two (three?) may have moved on, there is one I know of not listed and one is the Patch 2 bogey bird so we ‘probably’ won’t get that one, but all the others should be gettable at some time during the year.
Patch 2 produced the goods this morning with 30 Redshank, exactly, before they were rudely flushed by the yappiest mutt I’ve ever heard on the beach. They were in a runnel up by the seawall, nothing exceptional in that per se – but further away, on the water’s edge at the low tide mark was a record count, for the safari at least, of 164 Sanderlings…that’ll do nicely thank you. No chance to get out for the lunchtime high tide unfortunately…bye bye Little Gulls
Where to next? Only more Patch news for the rest of the week I’m afraid.
In the meantime let us know what the probability is of seeing stuff in your outback.
No pics today – far too gloomy and ‘probably’ nowt out there to point the camera at anyway – gloomy in fact that strangers in town wouldn't have believed us if we told hem there was a 500 foot tall iconic tower in the middle of town!

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