Monday, 8 November 2010

Predators on the loose

The Safari had a cold wet and windy scurry round part of Patch 1 last night and disturbed a Blackbird from the edge of some shrubbery in one of the neighbour’s gardens, a grounded migrant? This morning it was colder, wetter and windier but we went a bit further. There were still a few Blackbirds about in places we don’t normally come across them, maybe a bit of an overnight fall?
From this side the tower was soaking wet where the driving rain had fallen but the far side was bone dry. It was round here that we could see one of the Peregrines roosting up waiting for dawn and breakfast. There was no way it was going to enjoy the warming rays of the breaking dawn sun this bleak morning. It was hardly ‘on the loose’ but it’s still a predator.
We walked the ‘wrong’ way round Magpie Wood (it’s only tiny, 30 x 20 yards if that) and at the end Frank’s nose and tail both went up simultaneously...cat or Fox? Fox...it ran across the road and lay down in front of the little island of shrubby vegetation on the field not far away. We made Frank sit for a few moments and it watched intently as we quietly crossed the road towards it. Frank got a little excited when it moved again but sitting him down and keeping him calm we managed to get within about 10 feet of it, unfortunately it was still far too dark for a pic. Moving away we let him go about his business and sneak off to get a good day’s sleep. What a privilege to get so close to a wary wild animal. This particular Fox must be getting used to us just being quiet and crouching down when we see him so he really doesn’t feel threatened by us and allows a slow close approach. Hopefully once the mornings start brightening up or we get some good moonlight we may be able to get the camera on to him. A lot of patience is going to be required though.
Bad weather killed off any chance of a morning safari to Patch 2...who shouted “wimp”?
The worm turned at lunchtime and we went out to view the receding tide. My eye! - that wind was cold and the spitting rain didn’t make watching all that comfortable, go as far as to say it was an unpleasant experience. The marine life must have been in agreement as there were only two each of the two usual suspects on view, juvvy Herring Gulls and Common Scoters. A scan to the south and another to the north and back revealed nothing more so we gave up, just in time as the rain came on heavy again as we reach the safety of the office front door.
After work we shot up through the nightmare that will be SEVEN MONTHS of roadworks for a look at the Great Northern Diver that had been reported as still present. We took a chance it would still be there although the light was fading fast and Sterling Moss wasn't the driver in front of us going through the chicanes.
It was still there and we are glad we went cos as we arrived there was another birder there but he'd come out of the house so quick he'd left his bins on the cupboard by the front door, anyway we let him have a good look through ours - a lifer for him! Fortunately we didn't need it for the year but they are much better enjoyed at close range rather than a distant blob in flight way out over the sea.
The pair of us scampered round to the far side of the lake to get a closer view and we then took a couple of 'record' shots, of which this one is by far the best.

Told you it was getting dark!!! Hopefully the it'll stick around and our friend can get a proper look at it in daylight tomorrow lunchtime - he deserves it.

No Peregrine during our eveing footy game but with the wind swinging round to a rather cool easterly it would be round the other side if it has any sense.
Where to next? Unless something over exciting happens it’s only gonna be yet more news of nothing much in particular from the cold wet and windy patches.
In the meantime enjoy the two videos you should have got yesterday. Apologies for the Pink Footed Geese vid, looks like we scanned a bit too quickly at the beginning.


video

and one of the Scaup preening

video

2 comments:

Monika said...

A picture of a fox in the moonlight would be pretty sweet!

cliff said...

Crikey Dave, I've seen some record shots over the years but that one takes some beating, it's like one of those 3D images you have to stare at for a while until something pops out at you.

Nice video footage, I went for the starling roost yesterday at dusk, but found myself in the wrong place to photo them whilst they were displaying, by the time I got to the right spot they were hammering down into the reeds - doh.