Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Pleasant surprise

The safari was out early on the severely curtailed Patch 1 walk but we can now reach the turning to the street from which we can see if the Peregrine is roosting on its usual ledge. It’s a bit distant for viewing with the naked eye in the gloomy light of early dawn and this morning we couldn’t see it; the wind was from the east so it could well have been round the back. Frank is feeling better and says 'thanks' to all who have been concerned for him. He won't be doing any surfing for a while in his Hawaii five-0 t-shirt ...but he is fit enough to go to work every morning now...rarin' to go he is...
His 'work' t-shirt says, very appropriately 'Steps to Health'. He was in a very worn out 25+ year old BTCV t-shirt the other day - wonder if anyone else has any of those left, must be a collectors item by now!
Patch 2 was better this morning, little wind, no frost, no rain, no fog…what’s the world coming to? We put the scope on the sea wall and scanned – first bird right down on the tide line was a Lapwing…weird or what? Very occasionally we see small flocks of them flying past but never stood on the beach on their own.
Otherwise it wasn’t that spectacular a small smattering of Oystercatchers and the regular gulls. One thing we have noticed is there seems to be a dearth of young Common Gulls…same in your outback? Two 1st winter Cormorants were sat on the beach, which is fairly unusual.
Apart from the exceptional Lapwing waders weren’t particularly outstanding 28 Sanderlings and 14 Redshanks with three Turnstones on the outfall pipe were all we could muster.
The sea was double quiet. Still just about flat calm so a mammal might have been expected but no such luck. All that was out there were a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a couple of dozen or so Common Scoters. Eleven swans flying north about a mile and a half out were most likely Whooper Swans (WT 56) on an early leg of their return trip to Iceland. A Pied Wagtail also flew northwards, at height over the seawall. The first bits and pieces of vis mig of the season, which was nice.
Lunchtime saw the sea full to bustin’ again – not quite as high as yesterday’s tide and fortunately we are still experiencing high pressure and correspondingly calm conditions with a gentle easterly breeze. Just as well as the sea would have been at about the same level as the carpets in our office!
Not a lot out there. An increase in Common Scoters to about 100 were the only noteworthy birds nearby. In the distance however, it was a different tale. Looking to the south visibility was good despite the grey skies. We could easily see the turbines at Seaforth Docks at Liverpool 20 miles away, poking up above the houses on the ‘Southside’ at Birkdale. To their right over the trees of the Ainsdale/Formby pinewoods was an enormous cloud of what were almost definitely waders, Knot and/or Dunlin – there were tens of thousands of them, possibly forced off a roosting area by some numpty with a dog. Some great shapes were being thrown then they spread out in a long thin line which must have been at least two miles long! (Any readers on the Southside witness this wildlife spectacular? – please leave a comment with a link if you have/know of notes/blogs/pics etc etc. Another flock to the left of the turbines, possibly over Plex Moss or Downholland Moss looked to have the clustered ‘V’ formation of a large flock of geese but we won’t be claiming the two Tundra Bean Geese that have been lurking amongst the Pink Feet over there – not from this distance c.10 – 12 miles as the crow/goose/wader flies.
Where to next? Can’t wait for more of the same tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know if the sea is full in your outback – if indeed you have sea.
Late edit - just had our first wild Bald Eagle. Not sure if we can count it on our 'walking' tick list cos we saw it from the discomfort of our knackered 'puter chair on a live web-cam. Will it still be there when we click back? And what other goodies will the camera serve up?


Craig said...

Thats great Franks doing well mate.
Please can you post the link for the Boldy webcam?

best wishes,

Monika said...

Just catching up on the blog after limited internet access for a while....glad to hear Frank is doing better!