Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Back to reality

The Safari was out on Patch 1 earlyish but now we’re out too late; the majority of the birdsong is long over by 06.00 now.
The Golden Triangle held the regular Blackcap and two more were in the Butterfly Zone with fourth in the park. Our usual Coal Tit was singing way too but that was about it. Still nothing in the way of Whitethroat or Lesser Whitethroat – will they appear or are we going to be out of luck this year?
The pre-work Patch 2 safari was no better. For once visibility wasn’t too bad, to the south we could just about make out the Welsh hills, but good visibility doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see any wildlife. The sea was only gently ruffled by a slight offshore breeze so if there was anything out there we would have seen it. Problem was there was nothing out there bar a few Cormorants. Eventually we watched a single Common Scoter come from distance, past us and continue its way southwards. Over the receding tideline one of two Sandwich Terns was being harassed by a Black Headed Gull, could have done with it being harassed by an Arctic Skua but it wasn’t likely to happen today. Out on the water all we could find was a solitary Great Black Backed Gull, a lone Great Crested Grebe and, heading north, a lonely Red Throated Diver.
Absolutely nothing was heard going overhead.
Not the most exciting morning’s safari-ing we’ve ever had...back down to earth with a serious bump!!! Still, it can only get better...we hope...
We hoped and hoped, but it was still dire at lunchtime. If anything the visibility was a little better but there was nothing on the sea to see!
We scanned to the left, we scanned to the right, we scanned back and forth again - all to no avail.
It seemed a lost cause then we decided to give the almost empty beach a quick look just in case on the off-chance there was a Whimbrel paddling about somewhere, and bingo – no Whimbrels but a rather tidy adult Yellow Legged Gull was feeding down by the water’s edge with a couple of dozen Herring Gulls! We watched it delve deep in to the sand and pull out and swallow whole shells; from the distance we were watching from it looked like they were probably Rayed Trough Shells, they must have been at the limits of its reach as it stuck its head into the sand all the way to its eyeballs but how did it know where to dig?
A flock of three Curlews flew over it and quickly getting on to them revealed the middle of the three was actually the Whimbrel we’d been half expecting. The Whimbrel brings up the 50 for Patch 2 so far this year.
Unfortunately there was no sign of the couple of Harbour Porpoises that have lurking up and down the coast over the holiday weekend...and it began raining, for a change...
So all was almost well that ended well or at least it wasn’t quite as bad as first feared.
Where to next? More of the same patchy stuff.
In the meantime let us know what’s delving face first into the sand in your outback.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Bumping along nicely then Dave :-)