Thursday, 12 August 2010

National Whale and Dolphin Watch - Day 6

The Safari is very pleased to report BBP followed by PPEM after yesterdays absence. In the park we had another aerobatic display from the young Sparrowhawks with the male using his sister as target practice followed a few minutes later by the arrival of dad with a small dead something in his talons.
Patch 2 early up gave us an accurate count of 254 Oystercatchers, again with plenty more way to the south too far away to count. Also on the beach were 2 adult Common Gulls and two Great Black Backs. Once again we have to report that although there were about 100 Black Headed Gulls but no juveniles were seen.
Later in the morning we had to nip across to the prom for some info pertaining to a bit of a project we hope to be able progress shortly and we fluked the first Turnstone of season. Plenty at Seaforth, at the far end of the South-side yesterday.
Our NWDW lunchtime watch wasn’t as wet as feared. The wind was strongish from the NW but lighter than yesterday and wasn’t throwing much spray over the wall. Not the best of hour’s birding though. Flocks of six, 12, two and 20 Common Scoters were counted sitting out on the water. Only four Gannets moved through during the hour only one of these, a 3rd year bird, was anything like close. A dozen or so Cormorants blogged about with a couple going over SW at height. Bird of the session was a single Manx Shearwater picked up in the mouth of the estuary by our young volunteer watcher which headed towards us and gave good views even in the bins as it passed our vantage point.
A flock of five Dunlin sprinted north through the troughs, which incidentally, were full of blobs of seaweed which kept looking like something else and getting our hopes up.
Two Sandwich Terns came from distance, and just before the hour was up a Shelduck flew north some distance out.
On the way back to the office we came across a few dollops of old, crumbly and full of hair Fox doodoo on the sea wall, wonder if its been after the Rabbits in the works garden then going exploring the beach for a bit of seafood?
Hardly thrilling but at least it was reasonably warm and we didn’t get wet and no, it didn’t rain!!!!
Did rain just a bit once we got home - this lot was waiting for us to take Frank round Patch 1! - As black as the obbs of hell - whatever they are - Soaked!

The Peregrine was already on the water tower at this early hour probably sheltering from the storm that was about to break. We however were more interested in this Dock leaf with a huge mine - any ideas Dean?

After our soaking and a very tasty cheese pie with lashings of gravy this bugger and his dog did the unthinkable (sorry S we succumbed but it just had to be done) - we TWITCHED the Cuckoo (171). A very glad we did too - well worth the trip; what a beautifully marked bird but unfortunately this is the nearest we got to a pic, it's a real shame you can't see it in all its gloriously marked glory. At the site another birder was already ensconced and very kindly put us on to a Mediterranean Gull with his scope - many thanks to him always good to see Meds and without the scope would have been very tricky in the fading light at distance with just the bins.

In the field opposite the Cuckoo sat a lone Lapwing just waiting for a few snaps to be taken of him. We really, really, really hope these never become as scarce as the Cuckoo has in recent years.

Being Over Wyre it would have been rude not to call in on the calling Quail. Which we did and this pic was taken as the bird was singing (172) from the Barley field at the end of the little track although you'll have to take our word for it. The Land Rover is much happier in this habitat than the urban desolation of last week.

Our birding friend also told us of a juvvy Caspian Gull that had been seen at the boat yards on river so that had to be the next port of call (pun very definitely intended). On the way we passed a field full to bustin with Curlews, hard to count at 50mph but there were loads of em.

Arriving at the slipway there musta been something worth seeing about as the Bird Club's great and good were giving the gulls a severe grilling. Unfortunately there was no sign of the Caspian Gull but a 1st year bird was causing some discussion as to whether or not it was a Yellow Legged Gull - the jury remained out as the light disappeared. That was it; all in all a very pleasant evening out on safari and back home for a well earned bottle of grog from the little brewery in the village of Dent - if only they could get champagne to taste that good!
Where to next? Without further ado Day 7 beckons.
In the meantime let us know what, if anything, has been flying southwards in your outback.


Phil said...

Shame on you DM, I make that three twitches and I all I got was 12 Little Egrets and a Marsh Harrier today.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Tee hee, Phil - or was it a twitch of three halves?



Anonymous said...

Sorry about not letting you know sooner Dave. The leafmines on the Dock are Pegomya solennis. A memmber of the Diptera.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Many thanks Dean