Back on the birding trail we failed to count the Magpies but did get the ‘bottom’ Song Thrush and the Peregrine on its ledge in the increasingly wet rain.
No Patch 2 early morning visit due to the bad weather but the smell as we opened the door of the Land Rover at the work’s car park was overpowering. There was some discussion amongst our colleagues that the smell was either leaking gas or blocked drains but a quick shuffy across the road revealed the true cause of the awful stench... huge numbers of rotting dead shells and starfish. A lot of gulls were on the beach and somewhere out there there could well be a Caspian Gull, one was on the beach on the South-side over the high tide at the weekend...just a matter of re-finding it...easy peasy...providing the heavy rain lets up and we get a lunchtime safari in...And it’s crossed the river of course.
Half way through the morning a clamouring riot of gulls out over the garden was heard, we left the office to have a look a what the commotion was all about...a Heron (P2 29) was sat on a neighbouring rooftop and getting a good deal of grief from the seriously unhappy gulls. A quick peek at Google Earth revealed a pond in the garden.
At lunchtime the weather had improved a little, at least it wasn’t raining but it was still quite blowy. Looking to the south there was bright sunshine bouncing of the water and wet sand near the wall making it very uncomfortable to count the 175 or so Oystercatchers and 50+ Redshanks with a few Turnstones thrown in for good measure. In front of there wasn’t much beach left as the tide was rising and what there was had a four legged bird scarer racing about after a ball. Out at sea nothing much was happening; a flotilla of three Great Crested Grebes and a couple of nearby Red Throated Divers was about it. But it all changed once the sea had hit the bottom of the wall. At that point there was a sudden flurry of activity. For some reason there seemed to be an increase in the size of the Common Scoter flocks sitting on the water, auks appeared as if from nowhere and those near enough to identify were all Guillemots. A flock of nine Red Throated Divers flew north at range followed loosely by three more. Unlike yesterday there was hardly a Cormorant to be seen but one of them was a Shag (97, 30), was it in the feeding frenzy yesterday and we didn’t pick it out? Not only that yesterday despite the large numbers of Cormorants seen very few were sporting their spring white thigh patches, today most of them were. Very strange this bird watching malarkey!
No excitement in the gulls today, even the Little Gulls had made themselves scarce unless we just couldn’t see them in the bad viewing conditions to the south.
A lovely rainbow foretold of the rain to come and it come did...it leathered it down and sent us scampering back indoors.
Where to next? More of the same...
In the meantime let us know what’s got you scampering in your outback