Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Risked all out there today

The Safari donned the wet weather gear and set off into the darkness off Patch 1. The wind was blowing up a storm but my was it warm! Certainly overdressed in the waterproofs and it didn’t do anything more than a bit of drizzle. In the light from the street-lamps we could see that the Peregrine was still tucked well out of the way of the wind and rain. We could just about make it out last night. But that was as a far as the excitement got. Magpie Wood only gave us four Magpies and the rest of the park was noted for the lack of tic-ing Robins, only a couple heard. No Blackbirds were seen, even the normally numerous Woodpigeons seemed hard to come by.
Patch 2 was a wild and windy affair. FB was already stood with his scope at the wall but hadn’t been there long and not had much. We could only add a large handful of Common Scoters and with the leaden sky fast approaching discretion was the better part of valour and we legged it back inside for a brew.
Yesterday we received news of yet another dead Harbour Porpoise seen over Sunday’s high tide unfortunately weather conditions didn’t allow a check of the strandline so this lunchtime we decided to take a walk done over the Patch’s southern boundary. We walked about half a mile until the strandline became very thin and it was evident that large items hadn’t been deposited on this part of the beach. A lone Pied Wagtail was the only reward for getting our shoes filled with sand.
Getting back up on the seawall we noted 85 Oystercatchers roosting on the rapidly diminishing beach with a single Sandwich Tern joined them, another or a different tern species flew south some way off shore. Very little was moving, the gale hadn’t brought any goodies within reach. A couple of adult Kittiwakes wazzed by and a Guillemot skimmed the waves. The flock of Common Scoters was still sat not too far out and a similar number of others flew every which way in the distance.

Meanwhile here are some short vids of our Welsh safari. Apologies for any rather non-Attenborough-esque commentary you may hear.
Stream in garden.

New Precipice Walk

Overlooking Llynnau Cregennen

Same river in spate

Welsh Wildlife highlights not previously mentioned and definitely not photographed included:-
Sandhoppers – don’t get them on our beaches for some reason – mechanically cleaned to frequently?
A Golden Ringed Dragonfly in the garden wouldn’t sit still long enough for a pic.
Ravens aplenty but very few other corvids were seen and disappointingly Choughs (one of the target species of the trip) were dipped, would have like to have fluked Puffin and Little Tern too.
The Tawny Owls heard hooting and kevick-ing one night were only the second the Safari has had this year!
Plenty of Meadow Pipits still on the higher ground, but no Whinchats up there, nor were there any in prime coastal migration habitats, well not by the time we were up and out!
A couple of Sparrowhawks were seen. At New Precipice Walk we were looking down on a female as she came out of the woods below and steadily soared up past us – nice, plenty of Buzzards too including three soaring together over the garden during the sunny half hour!
Pick of the bunch was probably the small flock of Twite that flew close by us at New Precipice Walk.
Funniest moment – Frank barking at his echo which made an echo which made him bark which made an echo which………….

Where to next? No safari tomorrow, yet another funeral – it is said that they come in threes and this will be the third in as many months.
In the meantime let us know how many hundredweight of sand got into your boots today.
Late edit - maybe the title should have been 'Missed it all out there today' DAMN DAMN AND DOUBLE DAMN - bet the wind has dropped by Thursday!!!


Warren Baker said...

I love wales dave. maybe one day i'll move there, its always been dream of mine :-)

Amila Kanchana said...

Nice to see some videos on your blog! They show such beautiful countryside!

cliff said...

Enjoyed the vids Dave, although 1 & 4 appear to be the same?