Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sun sun sun

The Safari opened the door to a bright sunrise this morning, it had just about crept over the rooftops by the time we left Base Camp for Patch 1. Immediately we heard a House Sparrow chirruping from the other side of the main road. Walking up the hill we were treated to a display of synchronised flying by a pair over Herring Gulls weaving their way through the sky for a bit of bonding, very noticeable how much bigger the male is than the female.
As an aside please have a good look at ‘advert’ at the bottom of this post for the Gull Masterclass AB has organised; book your place directly with him – looks like a flippin good do but unfortunately the Safari is unable to attend...aaaaarrrgghhhh!!!
Moving deeper in to Patch 1 a few Dunnocks and Wrens were singing with a Robin warbling deep in the Golden Triangle. A Blackbird was seen with a large beak full of nest material, how it could see where it was going was a mystery.
In the park proper there is still no sign of Chiffchaffs, this must be the only local patch left in the country without one! A singing Chaffinch was nice though. At the top of the park a Goldcrest sang loudly but every time it did there was serious traffic noise and we were unable to locate it.
On the way back past a now empty Woodpigeon Wood a Meadow Pipit called high above us.
At Patch 2 the tide was well out but looked almost devoid of life. A smattering of gulls and Oystercatchers was down at the water’s edge. The gulls gave us nothing of any note and we counted 219 Oystercatchers – more than we thought. Hidden amongst them were a single Redshank and a single Sanderling, well hardly hidden but you know what we mean.
The sea was millpond calm but we only managed about 400 Common Scoters mostly away to the south and a couple of Cormorants.
Overhead vis (or more correctly ‘audible’) mig consisted of one Goldfinch and one Meadow Pipit.
The lunchtime Safari couldn’t come quickly enough.
As it was no sooner had we placed the scope on the wall we found two Harbour Porpoises, the first living things seen, that doesn’t happen often!!! They gave great views on and off diving repeatedly then disappearing for some time only to reappear in near enough the same place, shame they were too far off for a pic. Also out there were three Grey Seals and if it wasn’t for the Common Scoters the mammals would have out numbered the birds! A quality mammalian ten minutes or so.
On the way home we were stuck at some traffic lights - AGAIN!!! - will the taffic nightmare ever end - nearly an hour to get home last night it's only 4 miles - coulda crawled it on hands and knees quicker!!! - when we spotted our first white butterfly of the year bouncing around some shrubbery in a front garden. Too far away to tell if it was a Green Veined White or a female Orange Tip.
Where to next? More of the same wouldn’t go amiss provided there’s a Chiffchaff on Patch 1.
In the meantime let us know what’s surfaced in your outback
Meanwhile on with the ad...

‘Birds and beyond’

Martin Garner has been watching wildlife avidly since about 11 years of age and has always been interested in thinking outside the box, currently a member of the British Birds Rarities Committee, an identification consultant for Birding World magazine and formerly identification consultant for BWPi he has published many papers on bird identification, whilst his first full book ‘Frontiers in Birding’ recently sold out.

Martin’s specialty is dealing with the real trickiest and involved of all Bird Identification posers, the Gulls that move around our estuaries and wetlands, close to two Mecca’s for Gull enthusiasts Richmond Bank and Moore Nature Reserve, Wigg Island.

The Artery of Life project in conjunction with the Friends of Wigg Island and CAWOS (Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society) present an Adult education opportunity via The Big Lottery Fund and Natural England ‘Access to Nature’ for Birdwatchers to ‘step up a gear’ and look at some of the trickier aspects of the hobby in a Bird watching Master class!
Venue: Wigg Island Community Park, Mason Street (0ff Astmoor Road), Runcorn.

Date: Tuesday 5th April.

Time: 7.00 pm

Places are limited to book a place contact; ARTERY OF LIFE OFFICER, anthony . brandreth @
(without the spaces)
Or telephone 01928 583917
Over to you - enjoy!
Let us know how you get on...


Warren Baker said...

Stuck in traffic while the sun beats down, sheer hell dave!

Good luck with that Chiffy mate, it wont be long now :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Sheer hell indeed Warren - wish I was still able to ride my bike, save hours of time and loadsa money.



Anonymous said...

He`s a great bloke is Martin Garner. It`s not only Gulls that interest him, but all variant races & sub-species of birds.

Monika said...

Beautiful sunshine and no pictures of it? Reading your title I was all ready to see some bright spring landscapes from your neck of the woods!

At least your harbor porpoises are alive, unlike mine...