Friday, 12 February 2010

Ludicrously little

The safari was out on Patch 1 early doors as usual. Not much to write home about. The usual Song Thrush was warbling away but in the lightening dawn there were a few more Blackbirds fluting out of the gardens so spring, dare we say it, is getting a bit closer every day. There are Snowdrops blooming in the garden at Base Camp now.
The Peregrine had left his roost; he was there late last night but no sign this morning.
Patch 2 before work was no better, possibly worse. Hardly a bird out there at all. The tide was on the rise so we had expected there to be some movement. The sun was shining and despite the gentle northerly wind it didn’t feel too chilly. A single Shelduck flew past and seven Turnstones landed at the base of the sea wall to roost up over the high tide – nice and safe down there provided the sea isn’t too rough. Out on the sea itself there were only a handful of Common Scoters today. A small flock sat close enough in to be able pick out the facial markings of the females and the yellow patch at the top of the males’ bills. Where were the Cormorants this morning, hardly a one seen? Things have got to pick up soon. A/the Black Throated Diver was seen again a few miles up the coast – this would be a nice find on the Patch if it deigned to paddle south one day. We say ‘A/the’ as we assume it’s the same one that was seen there a while back and has returned from wherever it might have disappeared to or drifted back inshore and come within scope range again.
Lunchtime was just the same with barely a bird troubling the notebook. The tide was only just at the point where the beach was becoming exposed but there were dog walkers aplenty getting on to the sand so no birds. Out at sea only a few Cormorants and small numbers of scattered Common Scoters were mooching about.
Patch 2 with Frank after work saw the Peregrine back on the tower.
Where to next? Not sure over the weekend – there was a rather tasty American Wigeon within striking range, along with a sackful of other year-ticks, but it seems to have vanished. It might be relocated by the Saturday birders, if that’s the case a twitch could well be on the cards. Some mammals might be nice too. We always feel that at this time of year the other groups of flora and fauna tend to get a bit neglected in favour of the much more visible birds.
In the meantime let us know what has done a vanishing act in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

A quiet day then dave. Same on my patch - but I left you a present today!

Monika said...

Unfortunately all the Eurasian green-winged teals keep disappearing over here before I can get to them....good luck on the "Yankee" wigeon!

Dean said...

"We always feel that at this time of year the other groups of flora and fauna tend to get a bit neglected in favour of the much more visible birds."

Not in my case Dave. I can`t wait for all the other things to stir into life. The sooner the better. I need an Invert fix....