Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Just a tad better

The Safari left Base Camp with Frank on a thankfully windless morning. We did an alternative Patch 1 walk to avoid getting him totally mud-up and needing to be cleaned before going to work. We did however see the Peregrine on the ledge as the first hint of dawn appeared on the eastern horizon giving the hint of a fine day to come.
The nearer of the two Song Thrushes in the park was heard but not so much as a cheep from the Golden Triangle. Some thrushes sp. were on the now very wet field and from a garden further down the estate we heard our first Blackbird of the year in full song. In the school grounds the Mistle Thrush was also singing.
Out on Patch 2 the tide was just about fully out but a fisherman was stood on the tide edge waiting to walk in with it so there wasn’t much about. Over on the ‘north-side’ a runnel held a few gulls, nothing exciting except that we had our first fully hooded Black Headed Gulls of the year, two of them. Since we’ve decided to make an effort and look through the Common Gulls for any Franklin’s ‘imposters’ there have been very few on the beach and as time goes on those strange hood markings are going to be replaced by pristine shiny white heads.
After yesterday’s 400 Oystercatchers it was some what surprising not to see any at all, in fact not a wader in sight.
We had a walk down to the water to take the sea temperature after a conversation with Monika. The thermometer showed 4.9ÂșC a little below the air temperature. See here for UK wide sea temperatures.
You wouldn’t last long if you fell in at that temperature! There were plonkers playing chicken with the waves earlier in the week – despite all the fatalities they never seem to learn.
As left the beach a Goldfinch flew by calling, the 38th species for the patch and a somewhat belated one at that.
Not a great deal on the rising tide, a few Cormorants fishing here and there and small flocks of Common Scoters scattered about in the middle distance. We could only find a single Great Crested Grebe, many may now be moving to their inland breeding sites. A Shag flying out to sea was a bonus but we couldn’t find any Red Throated Divers.
Where to next? More of the same unless we can cram in a visit to the Ring Necked Duck - always assuming the mobile little tyke has stayed put for a change.
In the meantime let us know who’s posing as what in your outback

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