Thursday, 13 May 2010

It’s all gone bonkers

The safari came across news of this bizarre sighting of an ‘extinct’ Grey Whale from the BBC on Monika’s blog over on the west coast of the USA – how come we missed it here?
But weird or what, they’ve only been extinct in the Atlantic for the best part of 300 years – how the holy-shamoley did it end up in the furthest reaches of the Med? And more weirdly, where on earth (literally) had it come from? Maybe there are some pictures of the flukes so perhaps it might be identifiable from one of the Pacific databases. If there are two do you think their conversation might have been something like this? “Where are we dear? We seem to have come to dead end and it doesn’t look much like Alaska to me!” “Oh…I think we must have taken a wrong turn at Patagonia.”
Put it this way it wasn’t there when the Safari was studying waders at Ma’agan Mikhael fish ponds a few miles up the coast in the late 70’s, if it was none of the other scientists let us in on the secret.
But this is not the bonkers of the title…more of that later. In the meantime Patch 1 seems to be winding down song wise although dawn is much earlier than we are there now. The Golden Triangle only gave us half hearted Wren and Woodpigeon on the way out. The park still had a vocal Blackcap and Chiffchaff but little else, even the residents were quiet, got more important things like feeding young to be getting on with. On the return leg a Blackcap warbled from deep within the Golden Triangle.
Out on Patch 2 it looked as dire as ever but we soon hit on to two Grey Seals bottling in the shallows. Far beyond them a few Oystercatchers sat on the edge of a sandbank but with them was something that hasn’t hit the notebook for a while, a loose flock of 26 Sanderlings. Whilst counting them another absentee from the ruled pages flew south, about 200 Knot! A lone diving Gannet brought some normality to the proceeding as did two terns that were too big to be Little. Scanning for a third seal or a Harbour Porpoise fin we saw three more distant Gannets cruising northwards. Above them and much closer in over the leading edge of the rising tide was another recent absentee; an adult Common Gull…don’t see many of those round these parts in May. All in all a bit of a bonkers Patch 2 watch. What’ll happen next? A Grey Whale? The way things are going it might not be as bizarre as it sounds.
Lunchtime didn’t produce the ‘expected’ Grey Whale! Could only manage three distant Gannets, this time going south, wonder if they are the same three as before going round in circles? Two other, much nearer, Gannets were mooching about and one of the Grey Seals – well it is a Grey Something – was still bobbing along just behind the breakers.
The evening visit to Patch 1 produced absolutely nothing of note.
Where to next? More of the same drivel tomorrow no doubt. Some moth trapping could be on the horizon too as this Saturday is National Moth Night so the trap could be located in some suburban bushes near you.
In the meantime let us know if your outback has gone bonkers too.

PS that was bad luck on Fulham! Don’t even know where Fulham is, somewhere near the equator so we’re told, but as the game went on we thought they might have just stolen it, except that the reverse happened, gutted, nowhere near as gutted as a true Fulham supporter would be…hope the same doesn’t happen to ‘Pool a week on Saturday in our own ‘cup final’.


Warren Baker said...

C'mon you Chelsea! and the 'pool':-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Have to support Chelsea as my bro in law and nephew in law do and they let me watch the 'Pool game on their monstrous telly. Chel-sea Chel-sea...who they playin' again?


Monika said...

If you do spot a gray whale at Patch 2, please let us all know ASAP! Crazy stuff - people are still coming up with all sorts of speculations about where it came from. I don't think the Pacific databases are all that extensive so I'm not sure we'd be able to match it over here, but the chance to get a genetic sample could confirm it's a Pacific rather than an almost impossible remnant of the Atlantic pop. Keep your eyes peeled, you never know what you'll find!!