Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Owt about? Naahh no'much

The Safari’s jaunt through Patch 1 featured nice swirly cloud formations illuminated by the rising sun rather than wildlife! A gentle shower of rain as we were setting off gave us a little hope of a grounded something or other…nothing seen except for a Swallow weaving between the houses, been very few over the patch so far this spring, although we did manage three yesterday evening. Even the Golden Triangle was strangely silent. Walking through to the park it was obvious that not much was singing. We checked the concrete thingies, the pair of Herring Gulls and the Magpie were still there, wonder if they’re plastic like the Dorset Ospreys, but nothing resembling a vicar or a having a double bright supercilium. A single Chiffchaff was singing, have the others from yesterday moved on? It was the quietest morning for a while the showers certainly hadn’t dropped anything exciting like a Redstart and nothing was heard going overhead, maybe we are just that ½ mile too far inland. The return journey past the Golden Triangle was useless as the male Sparrowhawk had just blitzed through there in hunting mode a minute or so before us.
Similarly Patch 2 wasn’t over exciting either. We got there as a local birding legend, who we haven’t seen for ages, DP, was meeting up with regular sea-watcher MJ; he had been there for about half an hour and had already seen three Red Breasted Mergansers, an Eider and the seasons best tally of 15 Sandwich Terns. We ensconced ourselves in our usual viewing area while the others made use of the not so functional shelter and waited for the southerly breeze to bring the goodies to us. It didn’t! Best of our short morning’s watch were three Whimbrels ‘whickering’ as they went north. 20 Dunlin went south in a couple of flocks and we had an unknown number of Sandwich Terns, not as many as MJ had seen earlier, unknown as they were doing circles looking for fish. Another Eider flew past, one of those immature speckly males, that was about it…not a lot to get the blood rushing! We’ll probably find out that M & D had shed loads of stuff after we had to go to work…ahhh the joys of retirement.
Patch 2 at lunchtime was a strangle affair. There had been a fishing match over the tide that had just finished. The contestants didn’t seem to be enthusing about the amount they had caught, more like long faces bemoaning the fact they hadn’t caught much at all. They weren’t the only ones. A few Herring and Lesser Black backed Gull mooched around new the wall but other than those the sea was empty. We stuck the monotony for five more minutes and managed a hit; two Red Breasted Mergansers went south quite close in. That was enough we were about to call it a day when we spotted something that wasn’t quite right; a large bird high over the water a fair distance out. It just shouted follow me closely. It was on a straight course sort of shallowly diagonally away from us coming from the north and heading towards the North Wales coast. On it came not far in front of the haze, still ringing ‘alarm bells’ but we couldn’t get much on it. As it drew level it was obviously a raptor and a slight jink and stall once it was a little past us gave its identity away. An Osprey (161,83)!!! Now that will do very nicely thank you. But what it was doing cutting directly across the bay going the wrong way heaven only knows.
Where to next? After that, the pub to celebrate!
In the meantime let us know if there are celebrations to be enjoyed in your outback today.

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