Out on Patch 2 we lasted all of three minutes before the wind blown spray and foam had us soaked. In that time we say very little, a handful of Common Scoters and nothing else.
A bad day all round.
Just before lunchtime the phone rang and a very excited warden was on the other end. “I’m watching the Otter – get yourself down here now!!!” We didn’t need to be told twice!!! We grabbed the scope camera and bins, jumped in the Land Rover and shot off.
Fortunately the roads were clear of slow-coaches, gimmers and numpties etc and we made good time meeting the warden in the hide less than quarter of an hour later.
Sadly we dipped by just a couple of minutes....B*GGER!!!
It had been working its way along the edge of the reeds on the far side of the mere, the warden’s attention being drawn to it by the gulls mobbing it from above. It was oblivious to them and continued on its way diving as it went. Then the worst happened, a bloke and a dog appeared at the viewing platform only yards away from it. Why couldn’t he have been just a few minutes later? The Otter dived and disappeared not to be seen again. We hung around for about 20 minutes but sadly it didn’t show. The supporting cast included a couple of Snipe, which the Otter may have disturbed from the safety of the reedbed, a Great Black Backed Gull, and three oiled young Herring Gulls.
It wasn’t the weather for hanging around but we drove up to another viewing area and had a scan through the windscreen for five more minutes before driving down to the bottom end. There we noted that all the waterfowl looked settled and there was no activity from the gulls so our quarry was almost definitely not moving around down there. A fine male Kestrel sat on a marker post, cautiously we drove towards him slipping into neutral to quietly coast the final few yards. Down went the window, the zoom lens extended...the Kestrel flew off...dooohhhhh.
We headed back to the office.
No chance of a lunchtime Patch 2 visit in the torrential lashing rain.
After work we met up with our Land Rover off road mates and had a drive out as yet more rain hammered down. The aim was to drive the lane that was repaired back in July (see 11th) in the dark then go on to a local beauty spot (well in the light it’s beautiful) and have a walk round through the woods and up to the summit view point with the dogs.
Where to next? Back later with some off-roading pics and vid perhaps.
In the meantime let us know what's whipping up a storm in your outback.