We did have a chat to NS about an unfortunate dangling duck, whilst we on the phone outside checking out a parcel by the back gate the local flock of Goldfinches flew over, their numbers now swollen to about 50, which is a Base Camp record! Our feeder will need a good scalding out and refilling if that lot have been using it.
We felt fit enough to do the shorter ‘dry run’ alternative Patch 1 this morning but didn’t see the Peregrines. This route gives a slightly different view of their ledge but includes their favoured corner, if a round structure can have corners! A few Blackbirds were singing and others were hopping around on the grass verges looking for breakfast but easy winner of the Bird of the Morning Competition were the Dunnocks. We really must make an effort to get a proper count as there seemed to be one singing form every other garden all the way round the circuit.
Patch 2 early doors was a cool and grey affair. Not much doing on a fairly flat sea, a couple of Great Crested Grebes and four Red Throated Divers moved southwards, as did three flocks of Knot of about 100 or so each. Common Scoter numbers were nothing to write home about.
A narrow line of around 50 Cormorants fished very successfully just out of sight of the anglers who lined the wall. Judging by the gagging movements many were making at the surface the fish they were catching were of a decent size (the Cormorants that is, not the anglers!). A few Great Black Back Gulls were milling around hoping to snatch a freeby but once again the shoal of fish hadn’t attracted any sea mammals.
Errands at lunchtime meant that the safari was only a short one. Not so many gulls on the beach this arvo and little out at sea in the misty haze. A decent number of gulls were on our ‘new’ northern section but they were a long way off and well disturbed by the doggy brigade. Nothing of note was seen in their midst but we only had a few minutes looking.
Wifey dropped us off at Chat Alley while she hit the shops for tea. not been for a while and its still far too early for it to come in to play.
With the tide along way out and only bins there was no chance of getting anything down by the shore line.
However at the top of the cliffs we saw our first Coltsfoot of the year.
Just before we left a flock of about 200 Pink Footed Geese came close to landing on the beach but veered off at the last minute.
Where to next? Depends how the crook leg holds up.
In the meantime be thrilled to learn that the hybrid Shelduck in the big park could well be Paradise Shelduck all the way from New Zealand.