Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Any better today?

The safari has no real news from Patch 1 other than the Peregrine was still fast asleep at 6.15 this morning.
Patch 2 was a mixed bag out at see the light was awful with squally showers of sleet driving in on the strong breeze. Somewhat strangely although it was cold enough to snow it didn’t feel it and we were able to use the focus wheel on the scope without the aid of gloves…weird or what, as it was only 2°C and the wind was coming in a full frontal attack.
Out at sea there was nothing to trouble the scorer but the beach was a different matter altogether. The light on the beach was excellent for viewing and the tide was about half way up the beach so the birds were reasonably close. A quick cursory scan revealed a good number of gulls, many of which were Common Gulls, and a shed load of Oystercatchers. Nothing for it but to start counting. 20 Sanderlings were entered into the notebook followed by 148 Oystercatchers. There were more of both away down the beach, over our southern ‘boundary’ beyond the three Lugworm thieves (who must have been out a long time as they still had their head torches switched on and each had a large bucket full of worms). By the time we’d got into the gulls many of them had been flushed by a dog walker and our anticipated triple figure count of Common Gulls ended up being no more than a paltry 28, one 1st winter and two adult Great Black Back Gulls were also on the beach.
By the time the short lunchtime session came round the tide was well up. Yesterday’s displaying Great Crested Grebes were still at it but no sign of the gooseberry today. So far this year numbers of Common Scoters have been rather low but today was an exception with a decent sized raft sitting in the swell. Probably around 200 – 250 of them but hard to tell with any great conviction given the sea state. Not a huge number but good by this winter’s standards.
That was it! But we did have a resounding clap of unseasonal thunder.
Where to next? More of the same? – Tomorrow’s another day and anything can happen.
In the meantime let us know if there have been significant numbers of anything in your outback today.


Warren Baker said...

You're obviously getting hardened to the elements Dave, what will you do when it gets hot!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Oh I love it hot - bring on 50C and lots of reptiles and inverts first thing in the morning