Friday, 7 May 2010

Rare(ish) bird alert

The safari set off at 06.15 this morning to the news that there was very likely to be a change in government. So if you didn’t vote, don’t whinge if you don’t like what the new politicians do – you had yer chance! Having said that it seems crazy that the winning party can only muster 40% of the votes settling in to 49% of the seats in Parliament, while the third party gets 25% of the votes and gets less than 10% of the seats – something is wrong with the system – time for reform.
Enough of that shower of sh*tes; our first bird out of the bag was a real rarity in this part of the world, a male House Sparrow and only two gardens away from the feeders at Base Camp – will it ever find them and if so will it bring any mates it might have?
A Grey Squirrel hopped slowly across the road (an hour or so later in the day that would be a decidedly risky adventure) not too far ahead of us and caught Frank’s attention. For once he wasn’t over bothered. Before we reached the park a Heron flew over head upsetting the local gulls. We would meet up with it later being mobbed by a persistent Carrion Crow.
In the Golden Triangle the regular Blackcap sang away along with the usual, Robin, Wren and Dunnock. No other summer migrants have taken up residence there this year.
In the park once again we had the summer trio of Blackcap, Chiffchaff, and Willow Warbler, with our (now permanent despite his bushes being set on fire by yobs?) Whitethroat. Not a great lot else to report. Along the track there is a Berberis bush, left over from the days when this area was part of the Council’s tree nursery, it's in flower and it really pen and inks! What an unpleasant smell, sort of chokingly dry and foetid; it hums and it’s not a particularly pleasant tune!
Out on the Patch 2 we found FB already set up and watching. He hadn’t had a great deal, three Grey Seals was a good count, 11 Arctic Terns had gone past, along with a Red Throated Diver and three Gannets. We left him to it and went to our favoured look out position. It transpires that he’d seen the best of the morning! All we could manage was a Swallow, both of us got on the four Red Breasted Mergansers going north.
Walking back to work two Swifts were seen heading west and out to sea. Then the most unusual record of the day, even more so than the earlier House Sparrow! Reaching the garden at work we heard a Willow Warbler, unusual but not unknown…the real beaut is that it was answered by a Sedge Warbler…yes we have a couple of ponds but they are hardly Sedge Warbler habitat and anyway it was in the farthest corner from them. Not what we were expecting if we were expecting anything.
A return visit was just about pointless with only a single Gannet in reward for the long march down the Prom at lunchtime; these easterly winds are doing nothing for our skua passage.
On a sad note we received news this morning from a chap up the north end of town who had found another dead Harbour Porpoise on the beach. That makes it three out of only eleven sightings along our coast this year have been of dead animals, not a good ratio. What is happening to them? This one was probably a bit ‘too far gone’ for a post mortem.

Lastly some more pics of the unidentified plant that resides along he edge of the footpath behind the garage...looking at it more closely we think its more likely a crucifer than a Compositae...will the flowerheads survive long enough for it to be identified.

Where to next? Gotta ticket for the home leg of the BIG match.............
In the meantime let us know what your struggling to identify in your outback.


Anonymous said...

Dave, the leaves suggest Common Wintercress.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Dave - fingers crossed for you on the Sparrow front..........and the footie result :-)

PS got the heating on again :-)