Thursday, 2 September 2010

A very refreshing change

The Safari’s Patch 1 jaunt wasn’t up to much although there was some more Collared Dove activity – do they think its spring? One blasted through the trees jinking and swerving as if it had an invisible Sparrowhawk on its tail, others were singing if you can call coo-cooo-coo a song. Nothing else of any particular note except that the Blackbirds are becoming a bit more in evidence with them starting to crash round the bushes feeding on the ripening berries.
Patch 2 initially looked as duff as it had been over the last couple of days with a dropping tide and a flat, flat calm, hardly a ripple sea. Oh we love a few days of gentle offshore breezes, almost as much as a raging, goodie bringing hooley.
Barely a gull on the beach and only 14 Oystercatchers. A Cormorant roosted near the still submerged outfall pipe.
Scanning offshore the sea was as dead not even a Common Scoter could be found. Then out of nowhere and extremely close in, actually over the beach once the tide has dropped, a mother and young Harbour Porpoise were seen. Three times they surfaced, each time the calf just ahead of mum; the nearby gulls never batted an eyelid. Then they were gone – where to? We scanned and scanned and scanned some more but never relocated them…how do they do that? Shame the encounter was so brief, but they were close in and it was a lovely serene scene.
All that scanning gave us a flock of 13 Eiders with a handful of young gulls sat on the water a little to the south. Small fishing parties of Cormorants headed out to sea but that was about it as a 1st winter Common Gull edged south above the waterline.
Overhead a little bit of vis mig consisted of two individual alba Wagtails and two Meadow Pipits.
Too many people on the beach at the lunchtime low tide for much to be about other than a roost of sleepy gulls, nearly all of which were Herring Gulls. At sea we found two small flocks of Common Scoters, 50 at most so a lot less than yesterday. No sign of the Harbour Porpoises and no Grey Seals either.
Our friendly neighbourhood fisherman frightening Cormorant was at it again as it struggled to fold and swallow another fairly large flattie. A cull is necessary now – that’s two fish we’ve witnessed it eat in 24 hours. After the substantial meal the Cormorant proceeded to dry its wings whilst paddling around on the water. Looked like a surreal vulture soaring over a very wet Serengeti!
Where to next? Could be a safari for the Roe Deer tomorrow morning.
In the meantime let us know if your outback picked up today.
No pics again today – fingers crossed for some tomorrow.


Warren Baker said...

A watched a woman order two pieces of cod at the chip shop dave, should I go round and cull her family :-)

PS have you booked you bus yet, the whinchat is still here!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Booked the bus - I'm on it mate!

cliff said...

Dave, re the Cormorant, I got distant photos of one trying & failing to swallow a huge flatfish (well it looked huge to me)at Fairhaven lake last year - my photos can be seen here: -

Much more impressive is a photo by a guy called Ian Scott that's posted on the Birdguides photo galleries, it's of a Cormorant swallowing a good sized pike, photographed at Leighton Moss on 01/11/08, I can't post a link to the image, but it's well worth searching for on Birdguides (just goto advanced search, site Leighton Moss RSPB, species Cormorant & it's not too far down the page - the Birdguides galleries can be found here: -

Monika said...

I'm glad you finally saw a couple of cetaceans! You've got another sea survey coming up this month, right? Got any target birds or marine mammals you hope to spot?

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Cliff - nice piece of plaice...and pike!!!

Monika - yep I'm doing the survey last weekend in Sept - fingers crossed for minke, orcas, common (=Short beaked) & Risso's Dolphins and/or humpback, all been seen between Isle of Man and Irish coast this summer, might not be too late for a basking shark either. Birds; could do with puffin and pomerine skua and a petrel or two, would Sabine's Gull be too much to ask?