Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Just another grey autumnal day

The Safari’s early morning visit to Patch 1 revealed a bit of a shipping-out of Robins, barely any tic-ing away in the gardens as we walked up the hill and in the park in the dark there was substantially less vocalisation going on compared to yesterday although we didn’t do a proper count. A few early rising Blackbirds were evident but we couldn’t tell if this represented an overnight influx or not. No Wrens were heard this morning. No Redwings going overhead were heard but they can’t be too far away.
It would appear that we have put the mockers on the Peregrines as we haven’t seen them since we stated last week that they looked like it/they would be knockin around all winter now. Hmmmm…
Interestingly it seems that both Fleetwood Birder and the guys at Walney Bird Observatory saw the same skein of Pink Footed Geese as we saw yesterday morning but each of us put different numbers to it…we said 120, WBO 125 and FB 111 – so which of us was correct/closest?
Now early morning Patch 2 safari due to the time required to complete the Very Long March twice before starting work…might have to do something serious like take the scope home and then drive directly there and park up closer tomorrow.
After driving down to the far end of Patch 2 the rising tide at lunchtime gave us a good view of a Red Throated Diver with another sat with two dozen Common Scoters a hundred yards or so further out. That was about it other than odd small flocks of Common Scoters scattered about in the near to middle distance.
One of each of the gulls was present, one Black Headed Gull, one Herring Gull, one Lesser Black Backed Gull, one Great Black Backed Gull, although just before we left a young Herring Gull came in from the sea doubling their tally.
A flock of about two dozen Starlings was feeding on something interesting on the beach so we decided to risk shoes full of sand and investigate. A big lump of orange polystyrene and judging by the peck marks in it they’d eaten a fair proportion of it…silly birds! Once on the beach there was only one thing to do – check the strand lines for corpses – as you do! Fortunately none were found. We did, however, see two live Pied Wagtails rummaging around in the detritus probably trying to catch some of the multitude of small flies attracted to the washed-up seaweed. Whilst looking through the seaweed we found this mermaid’s purse…the eggcase of the Small Spotted Catshark (Lesser Spotted Dogfish) like the one we found on the cliffs at the weekend.
Then we had sighting of the day; the Safari's first Painted Lady of the year going south down the beach into the wind at a rate of knots - migrating?
Where to next? More of the same for the rest of the week.
In the meantime let us know if you’re having trouble getting into your outback


Warren Baker said...

hanks for the Gull ID tips Dave, good luck tomorrow. maybe I should take up Coach IDing :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Just don't start twitching trams Warren!



cliff said...

Love the delightfully named Mermaids Purse Dave, I hope I can find one of those when next on the beach with grandaughter.

We've only had a couple of Painted Lady's in the garden this year, the last being a couple of weeks ago. Bizarre after last years mass migration of them.