Thursday, 8 April 2010

No idea what to call this weird rubbish

The safari made a conscious effort to count the Woodpigeons on Patch 1 this morning – not an easy task as they are very mobile. In the end we can up with 24+. It didn’t help that we arrived at Carrion Crow Wood just as the Woodies were leaving their roost and spreading out to all points of the compass. A few minutes later in the park there were several footling about on the grass when the male Sparrowhawk darted through the trees; in a clatter of wings they were gone. Nothing much else to write home about, the Blackbirds that had been very vocal around 05.00 had gone quiet and mostly invisible although we did see the leucistic one again. Two Robins tried to out-sing each other and there were at least five Wrens warbling away. But still NOT a sniff of any new summer migrants. The Sparrowhawk perched up conveniently in a tree in reasonable light considering the time of the morning but we couldn’t de-pocket the camera fast enough. A cursory look at the water tower revealed the now expected lack of Peregrines.
Just like yesterday we fluked some Pink Footed Geese, this time three flew low over Base Camp as we put the key in the door.
The first of today’s weird things then happened. We went out to hang the laundry and from the water tower we heard the unmistakable yickering of the Peregrine Falcon. Dashing upstairs and looking from the bedroom window we could see both birds sat on their usual ledge – where have they been? By the time we headed off to work neither could be seen up there whilst driving past.
Number two weirdness happened at work. We had kept back a tray of samples from yesterday’s rockpooling for an event today...never a good idea really as the office stank like a well used fish warehouse when we opened the door first thing this morning...pooooohhhh. One of the lads picked up a shell and out fell a large Hermit Crab that we hadn’t noticed. The shell I have learnt is a Dog Whelk, identified by the long siphon tube. Last time I saw one this big it was shimmying between shells on a beach in Borneo.

The event the tray was going to provided the third weirdness. After unloading all our kit at the venue we had to move the Land Rover round the corner to park up for the afternoon which entailed a short walk through the adjacent park back to the hall. You coulda knocked me down with a feather…there on the bowling green was a Wheatear, probably dropped in when some low misty cloud came in after a long morning’s sunshine…well we weren’t expecting that.
Also at the event was a Hawk and Owl exhibition, we could have ticked Snowy Owl, Eagle Owl, Little Owl, Barn Owl and upgraded Tawny Owl from heard only to seen, but we won’t we’ll be good. An impressive Harris Hawk and a very bonny species of South American Scops Owl would have been very spurious ticks. The children had the opportunity to hold the Tawny Owl and Harris Hawk which they were all eager to do whilst their parents went snap happy with the camera...guess who didn’t have his with him…

Back at work a pair of Dunnocks eyed up the Gorse hedge, the male spent a lot of time trying to beat up his reflection in the windows. The prickly hedge is supposed to stop scrotes climbing up on to the roof but at this time of year it is a very popular nesting site even if the males tend to suffer bluntness of the beak. Along the other corridor a little later on we noticed a Linnet eyeing up his reflection.

Where to next? more Patchy stuff and a quick look to see if the Long Tailed Tits really are nesting in the 'Golden Triangle on Patch 1.

In the meantime let us know if any weirdness occured in your outback today.


Warren Baker said...

Golden Triangle , Whats that then Dave ?

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

The Golden Triangle is the new name for the small patch of bramble scrub mentioned a week or ao ago that we are terrified some well meaning SpringWatcher will want to tidy up and turn into a wildlife garden...nooooo