Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Precious little to disturb the notebook…but then again…

The safari’s adventure to Patch this morning was nothing to write home about. Apart from the usual Robins twittering away just a couple of Song Thrushes were sparring from the opposite sides of the park in the early morning half-light. A Wren blasted out a few short phrases from a clump of dense dark cover, the first of the season. A little later one was seen ‘mousing’ about in the garden at Base Camp, a seldom seen species recently – probably because we’ve been out at work during daylight hours! Two bright male Chaffinches in next door’s little Beech tree were nice additions to the day list.
The Starlings flying out of their roost were most impressive, three waves of them. The noise of the wind in their wings as they flew overhead from behind us heralded their imminent arrival – what a din. Whoooooshhhhhh and they were gone. Well over 5000 in each flock. A full blown wildlife spectacle of David Attenborough proportions and all you have to do is take a few seconds to stand still and look up – magical!
If we had 15000+ going off to feed to the NE by the application of ‘birders logic’ there must/may/might/could have been similar numbers leaving the pier roost due east and SE, making a very provisional total of somewhere in the region of 45-50000.
Late in to work due to having to wait for a decorator to turn up so no Patch 2 early morning visit. Conditions did look good on the drive in though so we could well have missed something worth seeing. No lunchtime visit either, as we had to nip home to pay aforementioned decorator. Me thinks wifey is preping the house for sale…nooooo we haven’t got any money!!!!!!!!!!
That was yesterday’s news which didn’t get the chance to hit the world wide web – too much to do at home last night and then our Extreme Photographer came round in his shiny, nearly new, Moose replacing, Extreme Land Rover – oh boy, it looks bog standard but hides a multitude of power enhancing toys like a double sized intercooler, ecu remap, de-catted exhaust, egr valve removed, wider tyres on spacers for extra road holding in corners. Not only will it be supreme off the tarmac but now also has 175 horses under the bonnet, just right for peeing off chavs in their souped up Clios and Corsas. It goes like greased sh*t from a Teflon coated shovel – hardly Land Rover like at all!!!
Where to next? Hopefully better attempts at Patching tomorrow.

Ah tomorrow – ie now today – was indescribably better. What was lacking yesterday was there this morning. Patch 1 was nothing to write home about, the two Song Thrushes were still playing X-factor with each other…”I can sing louder than you!”…”No you can’t!”…”Yes I can!”…etc, etc. Looking up in to the breaking dawn we saw the International Space Station fly past…it doesn’t look that high, brightest thing in the sky apart from the moon, but we couldn’t see the Space Shuttle trying to catch it up. I believe you may be able to see them docking tomorrow morning.
Patch 2 was much better. First thing we noticed were dribs and drabs of Cormorants all heading southwards to some high tide roost site. In the short time we were out there we must have had over two dozen. Plenty of Common Scoters in several packs probably totalling over 200 in all mostly way, way out on the horizon so no chance of picking up the Patch 2 bogey bird. Shelduck are always nice to see off the prom and this morning we had two pairs about five minutes apart, both pairs heading north. Two Red Throated Divers were also about five minutes apart but going in the opposite direction. Also a long way offshore two Great Black Backed Gulls wheeled around the horizon, their contrasting under and upper parts catching the sunshine (YES SUNSHINE!!!!!!!) making them look like oversized Manx Shearwaters.

A lively few minutes in a lively, freezing cold northerly wind with the wrong gloves…brrrrr.
Lunchtime if anything was even colder despite the very welcome sunshine – tha’s a bitter nor’erly wind tha’ knorrs; ee bah gumm. Not much to show though for freezing our nads off. Similar to earlier with plenty of Cormorants mooching about in every direction. No Shelducks this time but they were replaced by five Eiders heading south. The receding tide had left a small amount of beach uncovered where a few gulls and Oystercatchers had the pick of the shellfish. Two Sanderlings buzzed around the edge of a pool. That was about it really.
Where to next? More of the same; here’s hoping that nasty wind drops.
In the meantime let us know in which direction the wind is blowing in your outback


Forest the Bear said...

A big flock of Starlings certainly does get the pulse racing! I remember seeing big flocks back in the early 90's, but have not seen that many for along time.

Can you post a pic of the new Moose Dave, I would love to see it.

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Forest - great Starling action pre roost over the pier this evening on way home but too much traffic to get a photo from moving vehicle. New 'Moose' is 110 van defender in silver shod with BFG ATs and sporting a NAS tubular rear step...no photos yet soon probably w/end.



Forest the Bear said...

Sounds sweet!!!