Monday, 9 August 2010

National Whale and Dolphin Watch – Day 3

The Safari had a rough day yesterday. The cetacean watch almost gave us hypothermia and then in the afternoon the sun came out and it was definitely summer - how annoying is that? This morning was similar, early on it was cool but calm and pleasant on Patch 1 but with little to report other than PPEM and one of the Sparrowhawks was very vocal.
Patch 2 gave us no Balearic Shearwaters, indeed gave us very little – a couple of Sandwich Terns and a very close juvenile Gannet.
The weather on our short lunchtime watch deteriorated from poor to diabolical – how are we expected to spot the tiny wee Harbour Porpoises when there is a big swell, the rain is lashing down and visibility is somewhere around 500 metres. No chance; but a Grey Seal watched us watching him very close to the sea wall and we hadn’t taken the camera today…isn’t that always the case! He was probably wondering how come we were on the land but were wetter than he was!
Two small flocks of Dunlin winged south and the Sandwich Terns, difficult to count in the gloom but probably nine or ten altogether, gave a diving masterclass – spectacular when we could see it. We watched one settle on the water and sit there for about five minutes which is something we don’t see very often. Then half an hour later it or another did the same…weird…they do look strange sat there with their wingtips held up at a very cocky angle, possibly to keep them dry.
The rockpool survey was cut short due to the weather; we’ll have to try again. But we have come up with some good ideas to help make surveying the upper ‘pools’ easier and revisiting the ones we have already surveyed in future years.
Where to next? More from the patches and more cetaceans…well we can’t have any less can we?
In the meantime let us know how wet it’s been in your outback.
Sorry no pictures today – too wet…but you’ll never guess…as soon as we got inside and started to warm up and dry out the flippin’ sun appeared…bally typical!!!


Monika said...

Sounds like strange and uncooperative weather you've been having. Summer seems to have vanished over here as well - cool, foggy, drizzly.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Monika - Looking at the global temperature info it appears that the first six months of 2010 have been the hottest ever recorded! Except of course if you haoppebn to live in the NW of the British Isles or NW USA/SW Canada! There was a prediction a few years ago that we would be one the few regions to suffer cooling as the rest of the world warms up! Apparently here in NW England we are to expect a 10cm (4") rise in sea level overthe next 40 years...thats getting very close to the level of the carpet in our office on a high tide...hopefully I'll have retired by then!