Friday, 26 March 2010

Same or not?

The safari’s tea time visit to Patch 1 saw the return of the Peregrine Falcon. But, and here’s the rub, it was sat on the telecoms cabling. What’s odd about that you might ask? Well after watching it up there all winter we never saw it sat on there. So is it the same bird or a different one? Hardly a quality pic at distance in poor light with the little camera on full zoom.
Further into the walk Frank was with his doggy mates playing ball when a large flock of about 50 small birds flew low across the rough field. They circled round and looked like they were going to settle in the old hedgerow but didn’t. What were they? Being just out of earshot and a bit too distant to see any detail my guess is Meadow Pipits due to the number of them but in reality they could have been almost anything of that sort of size.
This morning the Peregrine was sat up on the tower again, calling like mad, but again it was sat in an unusual place, on a ledge between the cables we’ve never seen it on previously…so is it the same bird or a different one…just seems strange to me that it has chosen to sit in another place after spending months on the same favoured ledges.
A concerted count of singing Wrens, Dunnocks and Robins was poor by recent standards, at 4,4 & 2 respectively. Maybe 06.30 is now too late, we’ll have to see what happens on Sunday morning after the clocks change and we’ll be an hour earlier. The torrential overnight rain might not have helped too much either. All seven Blackbirds seen were males including one with a bit of leucism around it’s face, not seen it for a few weeks, will try to get a pic for you – its usually fairly confiding providing Frank doesn’t get too close or move too quickly. Strangely one of the Rangers was speaking to me yesterday about a Blackbird showing more white than this one that has reappeared in his park after an absence of a few weeks too…wonder if they’re related and where have they been.
The female Sparrowhawk was about again and we had excellent views of a Grey Squirrel raiding a bird feeder, they have become much more active in the last few days. During the harshest weeks of the winter we didn’t see them at all.
Patch 2 was v. poor indeedy again. The Razorbill hadn’t moved in the 24 hours since we saw him last! Well not laterally at least because it was still moving vertically for food.
Another 1st winter Common Gull moved south and on the choppy water we could only find two Common Scoters. As the tide was up there was no beach consequently there were no waders.
Where is all the vis mig? All the other sites around the bay seem to be getting stacks of Meadow Pipits and other stuff going over in the mornings but once again not a peep (no - not a North American sandpiper) was heard nor any little bouncy things seen.
Out at sea the same sites have been recording sizeable flocks of Little Gulls – again nothing along our strip of coast…doh - feels like we’ve been short changed!
Talking of the sea, news just released from the Marine Conservation Society from their Beachwatch survey last summer shows there has been a more than doubling of plastic litter on the nation’s beaches in the 15 years they have been conducting the survey. 63% of all rubbish collected from our beaches is now plastic. They found that the total amount of rubbish has increased by 77% during that time and that the biggest source of the rubbish was pubic littering – disgusting! The MSC also revealed that in some parts of the oceans plastic fragments are SIX TIMES more numerous than plankton. A couple years ago we were at a beautiful stretch of beach, Freshwater West in South Wales but the strandline was a 2 metre wide 30 cm deep mass of plastic - we humans are a disgrace! About time the planet thought of a way to ‘dispose’ of us.
Wait! We might have been too hasty – there is hope! This morning, as we have been wandering up and down the corridors of power(usually with a cuppa in hand), we have been tripping over two lovely young ladies working on the Young Seasiders Exhibition and speaking to them we discovered that their school, Hambleton Primary School, was responsible for this most very excellent, well presented, extremely timely and pertinent piece of art. Lovin' that happy fish!
Looking round the displays we found another piece with a marine theme – this time from Roseacre Primary School, just round the corner from the Solaris Centre and regular visitors here. What a great message to put in a bottle and a crackin’ strap-line too.The camera doesn't do the glitter of 'sparkling' justice.
Could this be Blackpool’s first Caspian Gull…hmm maybe the bill isn’t quite long enough, dark eye is right on though.A super colourful coral reef from the children at Marton Primary School reminds me of my dives at Ras Mohammed in 1978.If anyone thinks there are no clourful fish in British waters just google Ballan Wrasse.
All is definitely not lost if our younger generation is thinking like this thoughtful 8 year old from Anchorsholme Primary School.
Well done one and all…you have rekindled our hope for, and faith in, humanity.

By lunchtime the tide was well out and there were 26 Redshanks, 2 Sanderlings and a smattering of uncounted Oystercatchers. Eight Turnstones picked their way along the outfall pipe. This afternoon there were only five bait diggers in action. Our Razorbill is actually a buoy that looks like a Razorbill – it has barely moved a yard from where it was yesterday morning. A diver close inshore, right behind the breakers was the closest we’ve ever seen one to the beach. The chances of it being something other than a Red Throated Diver are horrendously slim and we didn’t get a decent long look at it in the chop, just short glimpses, but it did seem a bit chunky, showed a lot of dark down the nape and onto the sides of the neck, smudgy cheeks and an obvious large white triangle above the waterline towards the stern…whilst fumbling to get the camera out of its pouch for what would have been the grottiest of record shots it did one never to be seen again…really coulda done with getting a shot or two off…why wasn’t it twenty yards behind the surf at high tide i.e twenty five yards away!
Where to next? The weekend promises a safari or two to wild wilderness places.
In the meantime let us know what is giving you hope for human kind in your outback.

BTW does anyone else have trouble with blogger? Often when we close someone’s blog it reopens itself repeatedly and the only way to stop it is to shut down the ‘puter. Does it a lot at home but did it on the works super duper rinky dinky ‘puter this morning too.


Monika said...

Fantastic artwork by the kids! Gotta love it. Glad it gave you some hope, too.

As for Blogger, haven't had those problems myself.

Craig said...

Around what time did you see the tercel Dave.

cheers Craig

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

About 6pm Craig but it wasn't there tonight (Friday)

Thanks Monika I'm sure the children will really appreciate your comments from so far away



Craig said...

Thanks Dave...ill keep trying.

best wishes Craig

Anonymous said...

Dave, i`ve had that problem with blogger. Only trouble is, when you shut the PC down it also sometimes clears your history bar. Nightmare....