Thursday, 7 October 2010

Winter’s here!

The Safari set off on the alternative Patch 1 walk whilst it was still the middle of the night, certainl;y felt like it and was dark enough! Orion was standing tall above the southern horizon with Jupiter at his side. It was still and clear. As mentioned yesterday this alternative walk doesn’t give much opportunity for birding, but as we got off the main road, which although not busy at 06.00 is still noisy enough to prevent a lot of ‘wild’ sounds from being heard, onto a quieter side street we soon heard at least a couple of Redwings going over - our first of this season. Wandering onto Patch 1 proper we had three Robins singing from the Golden Triangle. We didn’t see the Peregrines this morning, have they done a bunk?
Then it was back down the hill to Base Camp with the deep aquamarine light of pre-dawn glowering over the silhouettes of the eastern fells.
Patch 2 is so much easier to access and is back to normal at last. Last night we were able to take a group of Beavers (small boys, not large rodents!) over there for a beachcombing session. They found plenty of the usual. Razorshells led the field with some lengthy whoppers collected. As we were unable to start our scientific survey as part of the Liverpool Bay Marine Life Recording Partnership earlier in the summer it’s difficult to tell if there are more Beadlet Anemones than before but we seemed to have no problem finding them, and in the lower pools too which was unusual not so long ago. The Safari can vouch for the nip of even small Green Shore Crabs as one was picked out of the tray to show to the group but before we could get a proper grip on him his pincers got a good grip of finger much to the amusement of the throng – ouch! He (pointed abdomen) was only about 5cm across, good job he wasn’t a decent size, we’d have squealed like a Pig.
This morning there were 23 Oystercatchers on our stretch of beach with rakes more way down to the south, 2 Redshanks were, like the Redwings, the first of this back end on the Patch. Gull of the day today was Lesser Black Back Gull - shed loads of them, well in excess of 100 on the rapidly disappearing beach. A Great Black Backed Gull sat amongst them and there was another further down. No Common Gulls today though.
Out at sea there were only a few indecisive Common Scoters flying around and a small flock sat on the water – very quiet on the rising tide although the south easterly breeze might have had a hand in that.
Passerines were represented by just one Meadow Pipit calling as it passed overhead. Perhaps we should have had a walk round the gardens at work just in case a Yellow Browed Warbler had dropped in over night...a million to one shot? They are a bird we’ve not seen on the west coast, probably because we’ve never looked properly in the gardens!
Even fewer Common Scoters at lunchtime and precious little else, if they get even less numerous we might have to start calling them Scarce Scoters!
Where to next? More of the same...then it’s the weekend safaris.
In the meantime let us know what’s being indecisive in your outback.
You might get a photo some day soon...


Warren Baker said...

The peregrines just off my patch do a disappearing act as well every now and then Dave, they always return :-)

Fingers crossed for that YBW :-)

cliff said...

Good to know the winter thrushes are back in the area Dave.