Sunday, 13 March 2011

No sub-Saharans yet...

The Safari was out early on Patch 1 as expected and the only news is that it was raining and the only bird of real note was the Golden Triangle Song Thrush giving it plenty for a short while. Last night we rescued two Frogs from off the main road and put them in our pond but that could have upset the natural order of things as a pair were already mating in the corner.
As soon as we got back to Base Camp it was straight out again to the North Blackpool Pond Trail (southern section) to do a bird survey. The rain had just about stopped and it was fairly lively with common residents. We heard two Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming at each other at the Community Orchard. On to the open area where the only pond on this part of the pond trail had a pair of Gadwall a site tick! Then we found five Meadow Pipits. Nothing spectacular on the way back but just as we were rueing the lack of Mistle Thrushes when we found one of the spotty giants lurking mid height in the Orchard area. Here we also found one of the drumming Great Spots, a female...didn't realise they did that...must go and consult the big books! A male singing Reed Buntingwas a good find. In the dyke at least three Frogs were croaking their heads peeering out over the huge blob of spawn they had a hand in creating.
After the survey and breakfast we thought we might give Chat Alley a try seeing as how a small number of Wheatears, Stonechats, White Wagtails and Sand Martins have been reported along the Liverpool Bay coast to the south of us.
200 Redshanks went in the book first but it was a long time before anything else made the almost blank page look half respectable. A Pied Wagtail could have been a migrant but it was the only passerine seen.
Scans over the beach gave us just Black Headed and Herring Gulls in any numbers, only two Common Gulls and a handful of Lesser Black Backs were seen.
In the runnel at the bottom of the wall the Black Headed Gulls were interested in something but they necked what ever it was to fast for us to get an ID - Shrimps?

The last pic shows some real natural bedrock over which the concrete lies - never noticed that before.
We had a few minutes snapping away at some Herring Gulls and fluked this one with a long white P10 tip...just how common are they?
The concrete etc is 'needed' because the cliffs are prone to landslips when wet...and we can't have natural processes going on can we? The cliffs are the end of a glacial moraine, an unstable mixture of varying layers of pebbly or bouldery clay with clay of varying consistencies. Where layers meet water gets between them and then gravity takes over.
That was about it and after a play in the sea with a couple of collie dogs Frank get home shattered.

Where to next? Back to the normal patchwork tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know if it's all heading northwards yet in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

Chiffy here today Dave, so they are coming up your way soon ! :-)

cliff said...

No migrants for me either yesterday Dave, I had a walk around the park listening out for Chiffchaffs but nothing doing, spotted 3 or poss 4 Treecreepers though.
Got some frogs porn going on in our little pond too. Our pond is only in it's 3rd year & it's the 1st time I've seen frogs attempting to mate in it, so I'm looking forward to seeing some spawn anytime soon now - I can't settle :-)