Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Wasn’t expecting that!

The safari was out as usual on the early morning Patch 1 round. Nothing too out of the ordinary; Dunnock ‘corner’ was lively with five of the little wing flickers hopping along the top of the hedges. Wrens were as loud as Wrens are and the Song Thrush could be heard blasting away in the distance.
A scan of the ledges on the tower revealed nothing – these days Peregrine is long gone by the time we get up now that the dawn is so much earlier. The best time to spot him is now the middle of the night in the light from the street lamps when he's roosting up there. But as we were looking the local gulls started to make their ‘predator in the area’ warning calls. We have been getting used to them doing the Heron alarm call but this one is slightly different. Spinning round we just got a glimpse of a broad winged raptor disappearing round the back of the tower, not to be seen again…there are really only two possibilities either Buzzard or Osprey. Both are scarce but regular passage migrants but surely it is still too early for the later we initially thought.
The park proper had the usual fare of Collared Doves, Woodpigeons and Blackbirds. A Heron stood in the top of one of the conifer trees with a large Frog dangling from the tip of its bill. Bizarrely a BEAT Naturewatch friend of the safari sent us a picture of definitely the same bird, taken at the weekend, sat in the same tree with a Frog dangling from its bill..
On the way back from Patch 1 we stopped so that Frank could have a little play with one of his doggy friends while we chatted to its owner, and in doing so we heard a Blackcap (121) singing which we probably would have missed had he not been there and we’d gone straight back to Base Camp. The first terrestrial summer migrant of the season…nice one...thought it would have been Chiffchaff but we’ll happily take that one of those tomorrow…
Back to the Osprey…we thought it was a bit too early, but then later in the morning when speaking to the Rangers we learnt that according to the pagers there have been a couple moving through the country already…so was it one or not??? Have to check to see if one has turned up during the morning at anyone’s site to the north of us...will take more noticer of the gulls tomorrow!!!
Patch 2 wasn't up to much. A full count of the Oystercatchers gave us 251 scattered over a large area and a minimum of nine flighty Sanderlings. On the sea less than a hundred Common Scoters and nothing else.
Where to next? more of the same at the Patches - Chiffchaff, an auk or two? Who knows what the week will bring?
In the meantime let us know what was unexpectedly warbling in your outback today.


Warren Baker said...

Ospreys already? Well I better get skyscanning!

Craig said...

I will try a midnight look for your Peregrine Dave.
I hope the police dont pull me, if they do....i will tell them to check your blog!

best wishes,

Phil said...

I'm well impressed with a Blackcap, I'm still on mipit.

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Warren - I'll be lucky to see an osprey myself but here's hoping

Craig - watch out for those curtain twitchers

Phil - took me by surprise I'll tell you! Great pics of your farmland birds on your page today - just a bit better than my efforts.



PS Extreme Photgrapher has been 'Over Wyre' today and some of the early results are...well...extreme...might post tomorrow - watch this space as they say and you'll see what I mean about partridges being nicely marked!