Friday, 11 June 2010

Better?

Before we start on today’s safari adventure thanks go to Anno for identifying the sawfly from the other day as a Turnip Sawfly. He’s also close, but not quite close enough, to naming the mystery mammal featured recently – there is one guy on our list of blogs (on the right) who would be able to ‘name that critter in one’; but which one - any further guesses anyone. If not we’ll give you the answer on Sunday, hopefully you brain-boxes out there will have discovered its identity and we won’t have to.
Now on with the show. This morning the safari set out as per usual to Patch 1 not really expecting too much. But that’s the beauty of watching wildlife you just don’t know what you’re gonna get.
So what was it that broke the recent dearth of stuff? Nowt really –A Blackcap warbled half heartedly from the scrubby area. Then we came across, or rather Frank’s nose came across – half a Woodpigeon so the Sparrowhawks aren’t too far away. A scan of the lawns gave us a good count of Blackbirds and continuing the walk we noted at least 17 altogether including what looked like a female feeding a juvenile in the far corner. Really ought to take the bins on these jaunts, then we’d be able to see what we’re looking at. Our Chaffinch is still singing from one of the tall trees above the pond despite the ravages of the local chavs in that part of the park.
Back in the scrub on the return leg we heard the male Chiffchaff on one side of the track and at least two others ‘hweet’ing from the other side, so it seems they have bred successfully in there – excellent news.
We haven’t given you much news from the Golden Triangle recently. This morning we made a point of walking the now jungle-like track and noted…wait for it…one Greenfinch!
Out on Patch 2 we arrived at the same time as a local fisherman who chatted about the Sea Bass being caught all year round now rather than being seasonal and the fact that Tub Gurnard are being regularly caught from the sea wall, something that would have been unheard of a few years ago. He also bemoaned the overall lack of fish – don’t they always – but put it down to the fact that the water is cleaner now than it has been for many years. He reckoned that because the sewage is now piped away and treated - GOOD – there are much fewer shrimps, worms etc that fed on it and started the foodchain, therefore no fish! Just goes to show you can’t please all the people all the time. A similar thing happened off Liverpool many years ago; when the sludge boat was stopped the anglers reported an almost instant decline in their catches of Codling.
Both the safari and the angler are regulars on the sea wall and neither of us have noted big shoals of bait fish this year so that would explain the low numbers of terns, Gannets etc. Like the safari he also hadn’t seen any live Harbour Porpoises on this stretch of coast so far this year.
So after our chat what, if anything, did we see? We had been sent out with the express instruction from a colleague to get a pic of the Grey Seal which has been hanging around for the last couple of days but, you’ve guessed it, we took the camera to find no sign of the seal. We did have a scan of the 30 or so gulls on the beach. As we were doing so the rising tide washed them off their roost. Fortunately the only one which came past us was a spankingly clean adult Yellow Legged Gull – most unexpected – what a stonker. Got one crappy pic off which has already been sent to the dustbin of photography, before the batteries in the camera gave up the ghost! OK OK here it is retieved from said dustbin of sh*te photos. Please don't anyone say it's a Lesser Black Backed Gull cos it looks a bit like one in the pic cos we did get better views of it and comparisons with the other large gulls sat nearby.Only the lonely Sandwich Tern and a small flock of about a dozen horizon distant Common Scoters of other note. There is still a Velvet Scoter out there somewhere…no chance of the safari bumping in to that!!!
Where to next? With no overnight rain forecast there is a good chance you might get to see some moths tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know where the sewage has disappeared to in your outback

2 comments:

Anno Brandreth said...

last role of the dice - Eastern Pygmy Possum?

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Nope - Roll again Anno - think sweet.