Friday, 14 January 2011

Must be nearly spring

The Safari’s late night constitutional provided a year first in the form of a Leopard Slug wandering about on the pavement, a sign of the current warmer conditions but looking at next week’s weather forecast things might well be cooling down again.
This morning Patch 1 was thrush heaven. Although the park was silent and nothing was stirring, not even a mouse, the Golden Triangle’s singing Song Thrush was in full voice again, a Blackbird tuned up with a few short phrases from a nearby garden and in the darkness of the school grounds a Mistle Thrush was giving it plenty of welly.
Still no chance of an early morning Patch 2 safari and no proper lunchtime safari either although we had an errand to run and were able to take in a site that has held a few Waxwings over the last few days. Suffice to say we found the still-berried tree but not the birds. Could really do with getting to grips with them soon as there’s no guarantee they’ll turn up next back end. Whilst looking for them we did get out first sighting of a Wren this year and a pair of Peregrines flew over heading towards the coast. A quick stop and scan of Fairhaven Lake in the sunshine didn’t produce the Red Necked Grebe, if it had of been there and close to the edge we’d have tried to get a few better pics of it for you.
Getting back to Patch 2 we could see a large flock of gulls on a sandbank to the north but didn’t have the scope and they were just out of range for the bins. In front of us was a smaller but still sizeable flock but just as we began to work through them a woman with two dogs appeared and flushed them all apart from 16 brave Herring Gulls and a single Black Headed Gull which may have been ill as it was closest to the rushing dogs but didn’t even attempt to stand up. The others flew a few hundred yards to the south and landed on a patch of brightly shimmering wet sand where they were impossible to view properly. Dog-woman walked nearly up to them but before they took off again she turned back – why couldn’t she have stopped short the first time? Would it be too ingracious to have bird flushing dog walkers burnt at the stake? – having Little Bertha means we’ve got plenty of matches and firelighters...
A very quick look at the birds on the shimmering sand picked out two Great Black Backed Gulls, on account of their bulk but we couldn’t see any smaller waders only Oystercatchers, then our retinas burnt out.
With the tide quite low and lacking the scope there was no real point to looking to sea.
A lorra lorra gulls were going southwards to roost at sunset, almost all were Herring Gulls but we did pull out a single Lesser Black Back.
These two are Herring Gulls.
This is what they were flying out towards.
After a brew at Base Camp Frank's evening game of footy gave us the Peregrine roosting on its ledge...three in one day can't be bad!
Where to next? Back to the Iceland Gull at the dock and hopefully we won’t forget the Willow Tit tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know what’s shimmering in your outback.

At the end of Week 2 2011 the Safari’s lists stand at...
Birds year 85,
Birds Patch 1 26,
Birds Patch 2 19,
Birds Base Camp 18,
Birds Nature Reserve 53,
Mammals 3,
Moths 0.


Warren Baker said...

Blue Sky!! Sun!! You lucky , lucky B*stard !!!

Very envious of that last shot Dave :-)

Amila Kanchana said...

We have had rain all over the country,more than we could bare, with floods,land slides,you name it. Presently it's a steady drizzle throughout the day,with the lowest temperature of decades in Sri Lanka!

Anonymous said...

Dave, with all the birds you keep missing, perhaps you should start a dipped list ;-)