Saturday, 16 October 2010

Still no sign...

The Safari was out well before dawn on the coldest morning for a long time, a heavy frost settled on the grass before the sun came up. Once again we were at the nature reserve hopin' for a glimpse of the recently discovered Otter - no chance! Like the other day the first bird we heard was the Cetti's Warbler in the SE reedbed and by the time we left the site we'd heard the other three.
A flock of Whooper Swans was heard and later we discovered there were five of them passing over. The Starling flock has grown and we were hoping to be in position to get some pics as the sun came up but the little horrors left the roost too soon while they were still hidden from view behind the trees.
The sunrise was pretty spectacular with the mist settling over the mere, along the dyke and spilling out across the fields but like the Starlings we missed the best of it by a couple of minutes.

A flock of nine Long Tailed Tits held a single Blue Tit and a 'too green' Chiffchaff. Further along the bank five Blackbirds exploded from one small Willow tree and a small flock of eight Redwings flew out of a nearby roost, later we had another 17 come from the south and go straight over. Our first Fieldfare of the autumn was heard this morning.
We heard a Redshank which, although the reserve is very close to the coast, isn't a particularly common bird here.
From the reedbeds a couple of Water Rails called. We were hoping to stay out for about four hours but got a call saying we were needed to cover at work...damn! We had to go to work later for a beach event but not until lunchtime so having to be there for breakfast was a bit of a bummer.
As we left Base Camp for work we heard a flock of Chaffinches going over so we probably would have picked up some movement had we been able to stay out. The only bonus was that driving up the hill we saw that one of the Peregrines had appeared on its usual ledge - wasn't there before we set off for the reserve and they haven't been seen for a few days.
After lunch a horde of excited children and their even more excited parents descended on the rockpools. Every pool was inspected, no stone left unturned. Pick of the bunch were an almost six inch long Blenny found by local naturalist DB who also rummaged out the day's only Common Sand Stars. smelly but interesting for the youngsters were two sharks lost by the anglers, only two feet long but still sharks, Lesser Spotted Dogfish both quite small ones. We let them rub the skin both ways to show them how smooth/rough it is. Also found where two different species of Whelk, Edible Whelk and Dog Whelk. Plenty of Green Shore Crabs were found, none manged to get a nip in today thankfully. One day we might find a different species of crab! As usual along this stretch of the beach Common Prawns witheir sticky out eyes and multi-coloured pincers easily outnumbered Brown Shrimps. Just one Sand Goby found its way into a net.
Must have been an exciting and busy afternoon beause we didn't get any pics not even of the Dogfish or the Blenny.
Where to next? Here's hoping that juvvy Red Backed Shrike is still hanging around, be another Fylde tick for the Safari if it's still up the road.
In the meantime let us know what the dawn was like in your outback.
PS - stonkin dog Fox last night which thanks to Frank's good behaviour and silence this time allowed our Extreme Photographer to get within a few feet of it - no camera at 10 O'clock at night though.


cliff said...

I was on the Mere myself from about 8.15 'till noon so would've no doubt bumped into you if you hadn't had to shoot off to work, probably didn't miss you by too long either.

I got a dodgy photo of a Cetti's, along with distant Redwing & I think a flock Fieldfare(I haven't processed them yet & couldn't make my mind up viewing on the cameras display).

There were also quite a few Hawkers about (Migrant & Brown) plus a solitary Common Darter.

Nice sunrise photos BTW - very atmospheric!



Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Must have missed you by minutes! At least you got a pic of a Cetti's dodgy or not - I've seen your 'dodgy' shots. I've only ever had brief glimpses of them!


Craig said...

Hi Dave,

After you left today....i bumped into Larry and he said about the juv Red Backed Shrike at Rossall, so this afternoon i had an hour on the public footpath at Rossall school checking all the posts etc.....but no.
If you go...i hope you have better luck than me.
Great photos, well done in capturing todays lovely morning.

best wishes,

Warren Baker said...

Lovely photo's today Dave. Keep at it with the Otter :-)