Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Today is Orange for Orangutan Day

The Safari remembers well our trip to the rain forests of Borneo to see these wonderful animals. Some other marvellous wildlife there too. Can’t make up our mind whether we like rainforests more than deserts or visa versa, both a fantastic extreme places, and then there’s mountains – like them too. The closest we got to orange was a maroon jumper although we did find two tasty mini oranges in our butty box at lunchtime.

What we as a species need to do is swap our greed gene and replace it with their gentle gene, that above all else would make the world a far better place. Looking into the eyes of one of these remarkable animals is like looking in to your own soul and seeing all that shouldn’t be there, it’s a very humbling experience – if only we could be more like them. And then we treat them like we absolute disgrace on our part and almost all in the quest for one particular commodity.
We could give you a list of all the products with unsustainable palm oil in them but it would be so long you’d still be reading this time tomorrow, almost every food-stuff we buy and many non food items contain the stuff, look for ‘vegetable oil’ (or fat) on the label...why do we ‘need’ it? Because it’s ‘cheap’ of course – but it isn’t cheap at all we just haven’t paid the full cost of the environmental degradation...yet!
You think the current unsustainable financial melt down is hitting you hard; it will be as nothing in comparison to the environmental meltdown that’s going to happen due to our unsustainable use of the resources at our disposal, but the politicians don’t seem to see that. The recent discussion document ‘Shaping the nature of England’ sort of alluded to it but will this ‘greenest ever’ government put their environmental money where their environmental mouth is, somehow we doubt it.
Enough of the quasi-political rant what has been happening on the patches you ask. The Peregrine was up there this morning but all else was very quiet on Patch 1. A fair few Starlings came over Base Camp from the Pier roost, probably a couple of thousand in total, but we only see a small proportion of the roost as they head inland in all directions.
A cold northerly wind greeted us on Patch 2; there is a heavy dusting of snow on the Lake District fells down to a lowish altitude, fairly unusual for early November. The signs of a cold winter to come? Who knows? Later this week the warm wet and very windy is due to make a vicious comeback with gusts over 70mph (110 kph) forecast tomorrow night although daytime temperatures should reach the giddy heights of double figures.
The tide was low and we counted 93 Oystercatchers, with another seven north of the outfall pipe making a nice round 100 in all. 20 Redshanks was a decent count for Patch 2 but one Sanderling on the beach and two others whipping south across the waves was a paltry tally.
A Great Black Backed Gull was tucking in to the remains of a sizeable fish (dogfish?). Nothing out of the ordinary was lurking in with the other gulls...oh for a white winger feeding on the bits and bobs left by the tide. A Glaucous Winged Gull would do very nicely thank you!
At sea we struggled to find much. An auk sp. went south and it was a good while before we found a flock of just four Common Scoters, with only one more seen in flight at distance. They were outnumbered by six Eiders coming towards us from the south...Common Scoters not the most numerous duck seen at sea - - How unusual is that?
Lunchtime on the rising tide wasn’t a lot better, a couple of small flocks of Common Scoters not too far away with larger numbers of mobile birds in the shimmering distance. There was a good bit of haze at wave level though the snow on the hills to the north was picked out in the midday sunshine as clear as crystal.
We had two Red Throated Divers in view at the same time, something that doesn’t happen all that often, one going left the other going right. While we’re on the subject of divers if anyone wants to know what the Fleetwood Great Northern Diver really looks like have a look at Cliff’s pics, he cheated and took his camera during daylight hours!
Where to next? Yet more of the same drivel unless a Waxwing turns up within shouting distance...some hope.
In the meantime let us know what’s shimmering in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

Well said dave. Cant wait for all the shit to kick off ! We need a good kick up the arse :-)

cliff said...

My grandaughter reckons I closely resemble your Orangutan Dave, I can't think why?

Re "but it isn’t cheap at all we just haven’t paid the full cost of the environmental degradation...yet!" - I fear you're 100% correct :-(

Thanks for the link to my GN Diver photos, but 'cos you've linked to my latest uploads & I've now added more photos it's, at the moment, a link to a Kessy hovering at dusk - IF anyone looking in does want to have a shufties at my GN Divers this link should work: -