Friday, 9 July 2010

"It's that fine rain that soaks you through"

The Safari had a walk out in Peter Kay's favourite type of rain for an hour this morning. It's not supposed to be raining - it's supposed to be summer!
A grey, murky autumn type of day promised little. Three Curlews flew south close in but the visibility was no more than poor at the best of times. So we sat on the top of the cliffs watching the gulls coming in and the gulls going back out again. And then some were just mooching about on the top of the cliffs doing nothing much in particular.

A flock of 15 southbound Black Headed Gulls held only one juvenile. Of the other 13 seen only one was a juvenile, have they had a bad breeding season? Two going north bucked the southerly trend. The reson for concentrating on the Black Heads was cos there have been a good number of Mediteranean Gulls to the north at Heysham and the south at Seaforth.
The Starlings are starting to develop their winter (can't believe we've mentioned the 'W' word already) spotty plumage. Plenty of juveniles around too.

Talking of plumages out of the infinite variety of variations of Feral Pigeon plumages this one looks just about full 'wild type' Rock Dove. Unfortunately it got camera shy and galloped off. Walking further along the cliffs a dot in the distance over the sea ended up being a Swift, which sped directly overhead and straight inland.
We noted few Lesser Black backed Gulls they were very very thin on the ground and for that matter over the water as well.
A flight of five Dunlins went south. At Pipit Slab two Swallows buzzed the clifftops but the weather wasn't bringing many insects out for them. Soaked through by now in the grey murk. Pipit Slab is up to the right just off shot.

The walk back produced a 'mega' Sandwich mega as that! Then a Gannet close inshore. As if by magic a glint of sunlight from somewhere picked out another dazzling white speck way out on the horizon.

Almost back to the start we spotted two male House Sparrows very interested in something under the overhangs on the rocks.

No idea what it was they were after; insects hiding in the nooks and crannies or salts washing out of the stones.
There were no Porpoises, Basking Sharks, Grey Seals or Lion's Mane Jellyfish but you can't have everything. Having said that we didn't do to badly - open your eyes and thow shall't see stuff - including hitherto unseen behaviours from House Sparrows.
We spoke to a couple of fisherman - one had caught a Dogfish but by the way he held his fingers apart we imagine his bait was bigger!
There was nowt on Chat Alley but then it is a week or two too early.
Another chap we spoke to said there was going to be a heatwave this weekend with 30+C on the cards. Hope he's right but back home a check of the weather forecast doesn't show it happening. What's more since the powers-that-be announced the hosepipe ban it hasn't stopped raining.
Where to next? The hand maybe able to stand a safari a little further afield over the weekend.
In the meantime let us know if it's stopped raining in your outback yet.
Found an old pic of the cliffs looking south towards town, we've just walked over this bit. Probably from around 1900. If only we still had some slumping soft cliffs...


Craig said...

Hi Dave, Impressive set of photos you have done there.
And so are the other photos in your last few posts.
You have become really good at photography.

best wishes,

Monika said...

Rain! They're telling us it might not rain here for the rest of the month. We're in the middle of a heat wave ourselves - I'm okay with it for a day or two but give me the cooler weather! So glad I live on the water for days like this - going to pass 90 today!

Warren Baker said...

Wall to wall hot sunshine here Dave..........but you dont really want to hear that do you :-)

Rain sounds quite appealing at the moment.