Friday, 5 November 2010


The Safari’s safari to the inner depths of Lancashire last night was fun if a little dark and very busy a large convoy of Land Rovers of various sizes, shapes and ages made the trip up the hill.
The lane we were supposed to drive had been looked at earlier by our ‘leader’ and described as ‘dangerous’; the normally placid stream had turned into a three foot deep torrent capable of flipping a vehicle over! A less tricky alternative was planned instead but this was to be after a little light exercise and a romp for the dogs.
The start of our walk around the hill was fine, the wind howled noisily in the trees but it was mild and dry. Underfoot the ground wasn’t too wet or slippery. No worries for Frank, he and his hi-vis jacket just kept diving in to the drainage ditches, puddles, leats and the like including, at one point, managing to get himself stuck in a cattle grid – silly dog!
Then as we got to the last half mile it all changed for the worse. Under the thick canopy of the conifer trees it was pitch black, even those of us who eat a lot of carrots had difficulty seeing where we were going. The path also began to deteriorate and get progressively muddier and the mud progressively deeper. And the rain started, heavy at first but becoming more intense as we got nearer the car park. Absolutely tippling down it was.
In the end we bottled out of doing the off-the-tarmac stuff opting instead for a quick drive home down the winding lanes through torrents of lashing rain of ‘horror movie’ proportions.
Were we glad to get home and have a big plateful of hearty stew!
No news from Patch 1 today nor Patch 2 early on as we had a school event to attend along with our local MP (it was a privilege for him to be able sit next to us).
At lunchtime whilst tucking into our butties we noticed this which refers to this...Patch 2 Arctic Skua very likely don’t you think? For those of you not familiar with the geography, Walney Island is short flight across the bay to the north.
After the school thing we had a short safari over the road to Patch 2, the tide was dropping and after the heavy weather there was a huge wreck of shellfish and a lorra lorra gulls. Checking through them was easy...Herring Gull...Herring Gull...Herring least a couple of thousand stretching along he strandline way to the south. A few Black Headed Gulls and Common Gulls were scattered in amongst them and we had one near, and one far, Great Black Back Gull. What we did not see was any Lesser Black Backed Gulls at all. A very clean headed Herring Gull made us look twice but before ID could be clinched it took to the air and was lost in the throng.
Didn’t bother looking out to see at the Common Scoters.
Then the rain started so we headed back to the desk via the all-important brew room.
Where to next? Feel a Waxwing coming on – anyone else out there not seen any yet?
In the meantime let us know if the rain has stopped in your outback yet.

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