Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Proper patchwork

The safari was out on Patch 1 before sun up this morning. One disadvantage of this is that we could barely see the notebook to write down our sightings.
Not a bad morning as the promised heavy rain hadn’t arrived yet. Even at that early hour listening for all the singers was made more difficult by the traffic noise on the not too distant main roads, the cacophony of waking gulls on the nearby office block roof didn’t do us any favours either.
Blackbirds were singing all over the shop, the finally tally revealed 20 of them. Wrens too were very vocal and there seems to be enough about to quickly make good any loss of numbers due to the harsh winter, nine singing males were recorded. We heard “Fraaannnkk” – not someone calling the mud-hound but two Herons going overhead, a third came out of the pond a little later. We don’t visit the pond in the middle of the park but stick to the perimeter – to much temptation for our four legged companion… Two Mallards popped up and did a circuit –it was still too dark to sex them, but they were probably the pair that has been seen here on and off recently.
Five singing Robins was a reasonable tally and the Song Thrush is still giving his vocal chords some serious welly. Yeah OK I know they don’t have vocal chords they have a syrinx instead.
We were a few minutes too early for some species as we didn’t get any Dunnocks until well in to the return journey, four was a somewhat disappointing count as were only two Greenfinches and no other finches at all. We didn’t do the Woodpigeons, Collared Doves or Magpies today although we did watch a pair of Magpies courting doing the wing shaking thing a bit like House Sparrows do…can’t recall ever seeing that before…surely we have but there again maybe not…you see you can see/learn something new everyday you just don’t know what or when it’ll be so keep your eyes, ears, and most importantly your mind, open. Someone with a closed mind has taken a stick to the fungi we showed you the other day and smashed them to smithereens. Why? Obvious really - if it’s a mushroom and it isn’t in a punnet wrapped in cellophane sitting on a supermarket shelf it MUST be poisonous therefore it MUST be destroyed…freakin’ simpletons! Or it’s the local destructive kids on their usual rampage – one in particular is like a mini nuclear bomb with all the devastation he causes – ripping off branches from trees, hacking at their bark and general thuggery to anything growing. Worst of it is he ain’t no chav he’s supposed to be from a respectable area, sadly no-one has taught him to have respect for other living things…the little gobshite.
By the time we got to Patch 2 the rain had begun, not heavy but still wet enough. Not a lot doing, the beach was fairly empty; 22 Oystercatchers outnumbered the gulls. Interestingly the gulls were tucking in to the large blobs of Whelks eggs that have been washed up; some of the blobs are almost as big as the gulls.
Out at sea the murky grey-out wasn’t too far away and the only thing we found was a Razorbill – this time in flight zooting northwards on its whirring wings. Enough was enough, but as we turned to get back indoors a Meadow Pipit flew overhead and we heard a Goldfinch call, at last the tiniest bit of vis mig. We found three Goldfinches sat on the somewhat unusual location, the top of one of the seawall shelters. They headed inland towards our garden after a couple of minutes; which reminds me…must check the feeders that some nice members of the public regularly fill but which were empty the other day, so we had to do it.
Lunchtime session produced a mammal at long last, a distant Grey Seal. Something else we don’t see all that often was a lone, solitary, single Knot flying past, usually seee them in multiples of a hundred. The Common Scoter flock is now down to only six birds although another was sat on its own some way apart from them. As we were scanning we had six Meadow Pipits come in off, followed a few minutes later by four more; taking today to the top of the vis mig leader board by a good few points!
Where to next?? No chance of a marshes visit today so it’ll have to be tomorrow or Thursday.
In the meantime let us know if there has been anything moving in your outback

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

I enjoy your rants Dave, keeps my spirits up when I have a shite day like today :-)