The Safari has a nose like Niagara Falls but we had to go out to get some supplies in. Before we set off we took Frank round Patch 1 in daylight hours. The super-duper anti-terrorist attack fencing around the water tower was no match for a few kids with sledges last week!
A Cotoneaster tree is full of inviting looking berries, so where are the Waxwings?
A good flock of Redwings and Fieldfares moved through the trees at the bottom end and there was some tit activity with Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits all being seen in numbers. Nothin was flying over until a tinkling call had us looking upwards to see a Goldfinch (69) leaving the trees by the road. Two passes of the garden with all the feeders gave us no birds in attendance, with all that food on offer you'd think something would be sniffing around.
Our errands took us up the coast a couple of miles and we decided to have a look for the Purple Sandpiper while we were out. We were waiting at a set of traffic lights when a Pied Wagtail (70) dropped down on to the pavement next to us. The tide was in and it was a big one, the rocky breakwater they are usually on was completely covered btu we saw a large flock of Sanderlings (71) roosting on the beach a bit further up so we took a look. 24 Ringed Plovers (72) were counted and just seven Turnstones (73). A lone Knot (74) poked around some seaweed and a couple of Dunlin were in the flock too. Eventually a thorough search through the Sanderlings revealed a dark dot...gotcha! Purple Sandpiper (75) in the bag. We got a little better look when it raised it head and we could see the yellow base to the bill.
We even managed to get another chap onto it...then the flock was disturbed by a prat with a dog...surely he could see there were four birders looking at the birds only a few yards away when he and his dog walked right along the beach between us and the birds...flaming dork, and the result was the two newcomers didn't get a chance to pick up the Purple Sandpiper. It's not in amongst that lot of white dots above the surf.
A few Twite (76) were also on the beach, unusual here, again they were disturbed before we could get a proper count but abou a dozen in all.
On the way back to Base Camp the Peregrine was a drive-by sighting on its ledge as Cliff had done yesterday.
Where to next? Iceland Gull here we come but are there any Waxwings still there?
In the meantime let us know if a good day was had in your outback.