The Safari wasn't expecting much today. Alternative Patch 1 was beset by a bitterly cold northerly wind so it's hardly surprising that nothing was about in the dark before dawn. Of last night's two Peregrines only one remained and a single Redwing was heard from the black sky.
We got nowhere near Patch 2, driving rain kept us cowering behind the desk watching the droplets form dribbles which rain in steams down the window. At lunchtime we were busy at a, thankfully, indoor event.
Back on the short Patch 1 with the footy and Frank. It was a crystal clear evening with the Lake District hills smokey grey against the soft pink sky just a few clouds floating above them. We decided to try to count the Magpies as they came in to roost in Magpie Wood whilst Frank charged after his ball. No idea how many were already ensconced in the wood but we got to 31 before we were disturbed by a friend and his dog. No chance of counting with two dogs chasing the football.
They left and we resumed counting, assuming that none had entered while we weren't watching and we had another nine, bringing the total to 40.
As we kept watch over the wood a Grey Wagtail called and a Grey Heron lumbered over. Behind us in a large conifer in one of the gardens a Goldcrest called as the darkness become more all-enveloping.
Ethereal shapes whizzing past us low along the hedge and a bit of rattling gave away the presence of a Blackbird roost in the Golden Triangle.
It was time to go and as we turned to head for home we had a last check of the Peregrine roosting ledges - none seen, round the back or somewhere else?
Then three Magpies whipped overhead and over the houses and down into a garden , a subsidiary roost? Where they part of the 40 or were they three more from elsewhere?
So that was it - back to Base Camp for some scram - lunch at the posh hotel wasn't up to much - small...very small....nouvelle cuisine butties!!!
Where to next? More of the same but it'll be even colder tomorrow, hopefully a bit drier though.
In the meantime let us know who's roosting in your outback