Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Any warmer yet? Or should that be any less cold.

The Safari wasn’t risking counting the Magpies in Magpie Wood this morning as the pavement was just way, way too slippery to be able to look up and count rather than look down and watch where we were putting our feet. It’s scarily icy where the snow has been flattened down by the passage of many feet. And it’s still colder here than Chicago, which shouldn’t really happen!
In the park Frank shot off like greased lightning, to run full tilt like that with no ball to chase he musta seen or smelt a Fox, but we didn’t see anything.
A Blackbird went over in the darkness and several minutes later so did a Redwing – the first we’ve heard for a while.
Again we had to wait for it to get light enough to nip out to Patch 2. The tide was on the rise and washed in some small areas of freezing sea-slush. Doesn’t look much does it but we won’t be going for a paddle this week that’s for sure, or should that be foreshore? Perhaps not the most exciting pics we’ll ever show you.

In the distance was a Cormorant feeding mêlée, again stretched out in a long thin line about ¾ to a mile offshore. Difficult to say how many there were, but probably getting up towards triple figures. Three Red Throated Divers were out that way too. The usual Great Black Backed Gulls were milling around on the off-chance of a free meal.
Five Ringed Plovers flew past us heading south and we heard the call of a Grey Plover coming from the northern ‘alternative’ patch.
Away to the south the numbers of Oystercatchers were impressive, impossible to count from Patch 2 but there were two enormous flocks of them on the beach this morning.
On the way back from taking the sea ice pics we saw a small bird land in the middle of the promenade and start pecking around in the snow. We were very exposed and worried we’d disturb it but managed to scope it to see it was a Rock Pipit, couldn’t make out what it was pecking at as there didn’t seem to be anything there other than snow, maybe it was just having a ‘drink’. We edged a few feet nearer and then were able to take advantage of a bit of cover and sneak up a bit more to try to get in range for the little camera...made it...nice light over the shoulder, bird still sitting out on the snow...gently eased hand in to pocket...drew camera out ever so slowly...turned camera on...held our breath while we raised the camera...flushed the bird...drat, drat and double drat!!!
No Patch 2 visit at lunchtime – Christmas got in the way. Bah humbug...
Where to next? If we get anywhere other than a thawing and consequently muddy Patch 1 in the dark in the next 5 days we’ll be pleasantly surprised.
In the meantime let us know if there is sea ice floating around on your patch.


Monika said...

More than anything else, the fact that there is frozen sea slush on your ocean tells me just how cold it is - wow!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Yep - it's flippin freezing but a bit of thaw is on the way for which our wildlife will be extremely grateful.


Davo - enjoy your Christmas - but not too many year ticks!!

Warren Baker said...

Most of my photo attempts end up like yous did Dave. I spend ages trying to get photo's :-)