Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wet wet and wetter still

The Safari is extremely pleased, overjoyed even, to announce that Patch 1 now has a plethora of new trees which were planted yesterday in the grass verge along either side of the main last! We first mooted this idea two or three years ago but was told that it wasn’t feasible to because of under ground pipes and cables etc, but whatever obstacles there were have now been overcome and we have trees. In the dark without close inspection they look to be a species of Maple, berry-bearing Sorbus might have been better...bring on the Waxwings...but hey we ain’t complaining!!! Hopefully there will be more planted today and tomorrow going all the way to the top of the hill past the roundabout and down the other side towards the sea.
Other good news from last night was a very welcome win for ‘Pool against high flying Spurs, lets hope their downward spiral to oblivion has been averted and with confidence restored they can continue their winning ways at Wolves on Saturday. Last night they conceded a last minute injury time goal which fortunately was of no consequence. Other goals given away in the last five minutes could prove to be more costly as nine points have been lost through last minute leaks. Those nine points would have seen them in sixth place after last night’s win. Far from punching above their weight they are actually underachieving! ‘Pool have won more away games than league leaders Manchester United and scored more away goals than all but Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs – not bad for the team that the pre-season pundits said would be relegation favourites. Let’s hope they can go on to do even better things next season; 11 games left to play 10 points needed but in those matches lurk Manchester Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Spurs again...ohhh errr gettin twitchy.
Nothing of note from Patch 1 last night nor this morning which was the ‘dry run’ again due to dismal weather.
Patch 2 before work was extremely busy down at the water’s edge and today we decided to ignore the waders and focus solely on the gulls – this might have been a mistake as at first glance it was obvious there were a lot of waders down there. Numbers appeared to be higher than yesterday with a minimum of 750 Oystercatchers, with how many more to the south???, about 125 Sanderlings and five Curlews standing tall over about 100 roosting Oystercatchers were first of the year for Patch 2, we don’t often see them actually on the beach. Dunlin numbers had also gone through the a massive three but we only saw one Redshank at the water’s edge all the others remained uncounted in the runnel by the wall.
For every Oystercatcher there must have been five or six gulls, the water’s edge and various strandlines were crawling with them. None counted but easily triple figures of Common Gulls were outnumbered by Black Headed Gulls who in turn were out numbered by Herring Gulls. Despite the conditions being better than yesterday, the birds a hundred yards nearer and the light nice and flat we couldn’t pick out anything special, just one Herring Gull caught our eye as being different enough to perhaps be an argentatus, looked to be a shade or two darker, but the light was playing tricks with the shades of grey, and although it was a big brute we weren’t totally convinced. Three Great Black Backed Gulls waited to for the opportunity to undertake smash and grab raids on their lesser cousins. We still can’t find a Med and a nice 'white winger' would go down a treat, got to be one somewhere in there.
Still a heavy mist over the sea reducing visibility to next to nothing so no news from there.
At lunchtime a miracle had occurred and there was a rare phenomenon – a horizon! And we could see cloud lifting of the lower Welsh hills with sunshine trying to break through over the sea. Over the seawall, however, hung a low cold mist.
Out at sea visibility was good for the first time in ages but disappointingly there was precious little to see.
As we were leaving work a Mediterranean Gull (P2 #32) flew over the back field towards the sea with a few Black Headed Gulls, although where they were going as the tide was in is anyone's guess - lets hope it's still there in the morning.

Where to next? Later tonight we are on an Amphibian training session in the north of town so if anyone is passing look out for a gaggle of khaki clad figures with whips and chairs facing down vicious Toads, hiyyahhh...kerrraaaakkk, and then attempting that most dangerous of tricks...the potentially lethal putting your head in the Frog’s mouth.

In the meantime do not try that in your outback and here are the details of the ringed Mediterranean Gull seen yesterday near the nature reserve, it started life, well adult life, with a different ring.

Green 3JH7 3CY 14/06/2004 Berendrecht, Antwerpen, BELGIUM
White 3N92 >3CY 24/06/2006 Zandvlietsluis, Antwerpen, BELGIUM
Sightings for individual: 16504
Green 3JH7 06 - 15/03/2005 Stanley Park, Blackpool, Lancashire, GB
Green 3JH7 13/06/2005 Seaforth Nature Reserve, Liverpool, Merseyside, GB
Green 3JH7 02/04/2006 Le Platier d'Oye Plage, Pas-de-Calais, FRANCE
Re – ringed 24/06/2006
White 3N92 21/04/2008 Oostburg, Sophiapolder, Zeeland, NL
White 3N92 01-02/02/2009 Stanley Park, Blackpool, Lancashire, GB
White 3N92 11/04/2009 Cley Nature Reserve, Norfolk, GB
White 3N92 19/01/2010 Sefton Park, Liverpool, Merseyside, GB
White 3N92 24/03/2010 Minsmere, Suffolk, England, GB
White 3N92 22-23/02/2011 Stanley Park, Blackpool, Lancashire, GB
Total number of sightings : 19

Looks like it’s due to leave for the East Anglian coast any day now, if you’re over that way keep your eyes peeled. Although it was seen in the park this arvo so hasn’t left yet.


cliff said...

I was driving down your hill yesterday at 8am & saw them readying the trees that were to be planted, I had a feeling you'd be made up with them. Hopefully they'll go someway to make up for the ones your neighbours have hacked down.

Neil Spiers said...

Woohoo first Yellow Legged Gull on Preston Docks for me yesterday. Pic on site under my Year List if anyone wishes to scrutinise it.

But have noticed it being incredibly quiet out an about over the past 2 days.

Neil Spiers said...

Scrub that it was an LBB

Stu said...

Wow, that is one well travelled Gull...............