Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A better day?

The Safari was out early doors on Patch 1 in a cold strong wind. Nothing was moving, everything was still fast a-kimbo waiting for the dawn. Suddenly a Carrion Crow fluttered around above the tree tops in the darkness, like a giant bat, after being disturbed from somewhere by something.
No count of the roosting Magpies this morning just a question – how do they manage to cling on to their twigs all night when the branches are dancing and swaying like mad in the stiff breeze?
Returning past the Golden Triangle the first, and only, Robin of the morning sang in the light from the streetlamps and an early rising Blackbird hopped around on the grass the other side of the hedge.
Still far too dark for a pre-work Patch 2 safari but there is light at the end of the tunnel – or at least in the early morning commuting sky so not long to wait before we can get out twice a day again.
The media circus came to work this morning for the unveiling of a model of the new Blackpool trams, which all being well will be running along the promenade in about 15 months time once the all the track has been re-laid and the stations built. It was a actually unveiled not once but several times as the different TV, radio and newspaper reporters turned up for their ‘exclusives’. Hopefully these swish new trams will be a speedy and comfortable replacement for the ‘heritage’ fleet of boneshakers and we might just be tempted to use them. Would have to start a ‘seen from the tram’ list wouldn’t we? Could get some good stuff, we know of people who have seen Basking Sharks from the upper deck of the existing trams though sightings like that might be more difficult from the new trams as they are only single deckers.

Our lunchtime safari to Patch 2 was made just before the sea hit the base of the wall. There has been a wreck of shellfish and through the scope we could identify thousands of Rayed Trough Shells and good numbers of Prickly Cockles lying on the sand. Unfortunately due to the nearness of the water we disturbed all the closest gulls as soon as we appeared above them. To the south there were many more but all silhouettes in the strong low sunshine. We managed a count of 47 Redshanks in and around the large runnel and two dozen Oystercatchers roosting on the last of a sandbank; a further 87 were on the other side of it before the tide flushed them off.
Looking out to sea not a lot seemed to be going on, only fifty or so Common Scoters today and not many Cormorants, those we did see were all heading out to sea in to the wind. Following them in the scope brought us to a swirl of gulls, at least two Great Black Backs and several Herring Gulls, 2 Red Throated Divers flew towards us but past the feeding gulls without stopping. The Cormorants weren’t interested in what the gulls were after either going past the further out to sea. But the gulls were interesting as the longer we looked we started to notice more and more smaller gulls joining the fray. Kittiwakes (84), at least ten of them and maybe more, the chop and swell were quite deep in the strong wind and they were swooping around all over the place. All this activity was a bit distant and we couldn’t pick out any Little Gulls, which had been seen off Heysham yesterday.
Where to next? More of the same patchy stuff.
In the meantime let us know what’s swirling around in your outback.


Anonymous said...

Davo - you are in the wrong place - Richmond bank,Gatewarth, freezing cold produced Caspian Gull, Iceland Gull, 6 Yellow-legged Gulls and Med Gull, your kind of day dude...

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thousands of gulls on St Anne's beach but out of range and looking directly into the light...doh!!!
You up for a raid on Moore in the near future, Anno? Preferably before the leaves unfurl for obvious reasons!


Anonymous said...

oh yesss...

threw us a few dates matey...

Monika said...

84 already! I think you'll break 100 this month.