Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Knot a lot

The Safari opened the door on to a much cooler day today, temperatures having plummeted to normal after a run of nights which have been as warm as an average February day.
It was just about frosty and the cold seems to have made the birds go a little quiet. Only one Song Thrush was singing as we ventured out on to Patch 1. We didn’t go past the Magpies today and after seeing two Peregrines yesterday evening we were surprised to note that at this early hour they had both moved off.
By the time we were on the return leg of the safari a few Blackbirds had woken and started to sing from roof tops on the estate, along with a couple of Robin and a Dunnock in the Golden Triangle.
It was a short cold vigil on Patch 2 before work; the tide was in so we could only scan the sea. Out there in the dull greyness were a small number of semi-distant Common Scoters and two Great Crested Grebes. Hardly earth-shatteringly thrilling!
By lunchtime the tide had fallen and most of the beach was exposed. Plenty to look at but as usual it was the gulls that commanded our attention. 39 Redshank were directly beneath us with at least double that number further down with 12 Turnstones. Leaning over the wall in order to get a full count of the Redshank below we ended up flushing them and two weren’t Redshanks but Knot.
Down nearer the tide line there was a reasonable number of Sanderlings which were flushed by a dog walker before we could count them, roughly 30. Oystercatchers were uncounted too but there were many more of them, well over 100.
As for the gulls – several thorough scans gave us just three Great Black Backs, two Lesser Black Backs and another Yellow Legged Gull, seems to be a bit of passage off these going on at the moment, that were in any way out of the ordinary. Away to the far south there were thousands of gulls working the tide line and shallows and plenty more Oystercatchers too. On a distant sandbank we could see a long line of tightly packed roosting Cormorants – easily triple figures.
Out at sea it had become even greyer and choppier than before so we didn’t give it any real attention.
Where to next? Some really big, and we mean REALY big tides coming up so we’ll probably put our visit to the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker site (are they drumming yet Annno?) on hold for a couple of weeks so that we can have a look at the marshes this weekend.
In the meantime let us know how well you’re doing finding the odd one out.
After flushing the Redshanks we successfully flushed the nearby gulls too...dohhh

Just leaned a little too far over the wall!


Warren Baker said...

LSW drumming down here now Dave - see the sissinghurst blog on my links

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Bit far for me to travel Warren but wouldn't mind a rummage around Kent, seems to be a few good spots and not been in your county since the early 80s!



Monika said...

Good luck with those major tides - we're having major winds over here, maybe they will blow something into our inland waters here!

Anonymous said...

lots of Lesser Pecker activity down here Davo - are you coming over to 'dip' them again?

Tee,and indeed, Hee...