The Safari set off on a cold and breezy Patch 1 with the intention of counting the Robins. The Goldfinches were leaving their roosting tree doing a lot of twittering and buzzing as they set off to wherever it is they go, still at least 30 in there. We ignored the Song Thrushes, Dunnocks and Wrens listening out only for the Robins. None were heard! One was seen and that in a part of the park we don’t normally hear them! Just shows you never really know quite where you are with this wildlife malarkey. Heading back to Base Camp we heard the Chiffchaff and Blackcap at the Butterfly Zone, the Blackcap being in the same bush as yesterday and last year.. At Base Camp the gulls set off a right hullaballoo indicating something they didn’t like was about, a dash to the kitchen window gave us a Heron sat on the top of next door’s garage with a Magpie bobbing about its feet doing a bit of mobbing. We grabbed the camera and fired off a few shots as the early morning sun illuminated it nicely – sadly shooting at an angle through dirty double glazed windows doesn’t give results worth posting – a lost opportunity. The wind was brisk on Patch 2 and the sea chopped up with more white horses than your average Grand National – looked a bit grim when the field was ‘diverted’ past the dead horse covered in the blanket during the race...time for a rethink perhaps? – but we digress...Very little happening out at sea, a single Common Scoter lifted out of a trough and headed out in to the bay while three more in the shimmery distance headed south. It was a few scans more before we found anything else, a couple of very distant Gannets arcing high over the horizon then dipping below it out of sight. Another was seen in the middle distance then two together close enough to be able to see their yellow heads and minor black blotching showing that they were both sub-adults. As the tide dropped a little further a patch of shellfish attracted a hundred or so gulls and we had a nice composition of a Great Black Back and a Lesser Black Back stood together which would have made a nice pic had the little camera not decided to pull a moody and not turn on...oh woe is the Safari in the camera department today!!! A walk to the post box over at the far side of the garden gave us a pair of Linnets, the male carrying a feather so we’d guess a nest is under construction not too far away. Concentrating on the Linnets we posted our letters...without thinking into the litter bin next to the post box...duhhhh probably shouldn’t have told you that, fortunately litter bins have wider openings than letter boxes and we were able to stretch an arm in and retrieve them...now safely posted in the correct receptacle...neighbour-friendly moth trap bulbs to be delivered shortly.
At lunchtime the Safari ventured over the road, nice blue sky and warm sunshine by now but still a cool brisk breeze coming off the sea. The first scan found a flock of five Common Scoters bobbing on the waves, subsequent scans found begger all else until two horizonoid Gannets went past southwards.
Where to next? More of the same tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know how the cameras have fared in your outback.