Friday, 17 September 2010

We should be so lucky, lucky, lucky…

The Safari’s fascinating news from the water tower this morning was that on the outward journey the Peregrine wasn’t present but by the time we’d done the rounds it had returned from wherever it had been. We didn’t get that far late last night so we don’t know if it roosted overnight or not, although as the neighbours have severely pollarded the big Sycamore tree we can now easily see the roosting ledge from Base Camp’s bedroom window should we remember to take a look. The tree had to be hacked because it dripped honeydew onto his newly laid driveway and left a stain – how bally awful – how very dare it!!!
The rest of Patch 1 was livelyish with a minimum of 11 Blackbirds counted and at least nine Robins evident. It seems there may have been a bit of movement since the wind died down. Two Robins arguing and zipping after each other around the shrubbery in the garden at work on Patch 2 added further weight to this hypothesis.
Patch 2 itself was a dead loss. A Guillemot went past turned round and headed out to sea where a small number of Common Scoters milled around – they never seem to be able to make their minds up where they want to be. Some go north, some south, some stay sat still on the water while others fly in and the rest fly out. Going the ‘wrong’ way were a couple of ‘alba’ Wagtails.
Certainly no mind-blowing Sabine’s Gulls, Long Tailed Skuas Balearic or Sooty Shearwaters this morning as have been seen in the bay this week; just one of the several Black Terns seen locally would have done us!
No lunchtime visit to Patch 2 again today – still busy…busy…busy. But, and it’s a big BUT, before leaving to do the things we had to do we decided to have a quick peek at the interweb and see if there had been an update from Heysham; there often is during the morning, we immediately noticed that ZH had jumped to the top of the blog-list with a fresh post this morning giving news of a near-mega local bird in the same direction we were headed…brilliant news - a Red Necked Phalarope within spitting distance, too good an opportunity to pass over! It was duly twitched and thoroughly enjoyed but unfortunately the errands still had to done and we couldn’t stay as long as we would have liked. When we got to the bird it was away across the other side of the lake but earlier had been showing down to inches! – Just our luck, but still year tick #178 and one we deffo didn’t expect it’s been a long time since the last one we saw – not only that, it’s a Fylde tick too, belting little bird! So while our pics and the bit of jiggly video (showing what phalaropes do best - go round in eccentric circles) might not be much cop so enjoy Zac’s and many thanks to him; other local bloggers will no doubt be posting proper pics too and don’t forget to check out Phil T’s Wildsnaps, he usually takes a fairly good photo.

While we were watching the ‘phal’ a Great Spotted Woodpecker dived into the bushes on the island behind it and a small skein of Pink Footed Geese headed out to sea were the first of the season for the Safari. We had a quick check of at the Coots in the corner of the lake but couldn’t see any with rings.
Where to next? Tomorrow we have a safari arranged heading out northwards but the Southside is where the best of the birding action is and there’s absolutely no chance of doing a ‘U’ey – gonna be a good day all the same.
In the meantime let us know if there have been any pleasant surprises in your outback today.
Late edit - At 178 we have surpassed the Universal Law of Listing's theoretical target without changing the amount of 'effort', and still 3 1/2 months to go - 190 anyone?.
Patch 2's evening game of rugby with Frank gave us some 10 year old tree smashing tw'i'ts and a Great Spotted woodpecker. And a 'survey said' children don't get out much these days - well around here the ones that do get out should be kept locked up!


Warren Baker said...

Star bird Dave. Glad you got to see it mate :-)

cliff said...

What a lovely & dainty little bird the Phalarope is, first time I've ever seen one. It was Zac's photo posted on Birdguides that alerted me to it, I was going to head to the Mere for a couple of hours but it was change of plan after seeing Zac's photo.
My photos aren't up to much, too gloomy when it came close & when the sun was shining it was too far away - nice to see though.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Cliff "My photos aren't up to much, too gloomy when it came close" - I beg to differ they're not too shoddy at all!



Monika said...

I see my surf scoters didn't make it in the post, but glad to see the red-necked phalarope did! We've still got a few migrants heading through, but not as many as were hanging around in late August.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thanks for the phal Monika - it's the first in this part of the world since 1989, the year before I strated working up here!

Very grateful we all are, shame the surfies got lost in the post - if you have any more such goodies stick a first class stamp on them please.