Thursday, 7 April 2011

Summer cometh?

The Safari is well aware that one Swallow doeth not a summer make. But what about a Swallow AND a Blackcap? Both were present on Patch 1 after work yesterday. The Swallow was the briefest of fly-throughs and the Blackcap a singing but unseen male in the Butterfly Zone. At last some summer migrants but still no Chiffchaff! Patch 1 this morning didn’t give us the Blackcap. A lorra lorra Wrens though, like the Robins last week we need to do a concerted count...a guestimate would be into double figures including the ones in the gardens on the way. The Song Thrush was singing in the Golden Triangle and the ‘usual’ one in the Butterfly Zone but the one we heard yesterday at the top of the park wasn’t there this morning. The beach at Patch 2 was a dead loss with only 50 or so Oystercatchers and four Sanderlings down at the water’s edge. Seven bait diggers, a couple of dog walkers and a metal detectorist didn’t help matters. Plenty more Oystercatchers, 500+?, were off-patch to the south. Out at sea it was pretty dire with only a solitary Common Scoter spending most of its time hidden in the troughs spotted on the water. Scanning just above the waves we found a distant flock of five Common Scoters then a flock of three all going south. Whilst watching the three pass in front of the big gas rig that pokes up from beyond the horizon we noticed two tiny moving black and white spots between them and the rig – two Gannets (144). They were a long, long way out and once past the dark background of the rig were almost invisible against the grey sky. However with intense concentration we managed to follow their almost imperceptible forms and they joined, or were joined by, three others and began a diving frenzy. At lunchtime there was even less...nuff said. Where to next? Teaching in school tomorrow so no patch visits until we get to Patch 1 in the evening. In the meantime let us know what’s wheeling around in the distance in your outback.

1 comment:

Dean said...

Can`t believe that, Dave. Never out of earshot of Chiffy`s over here at the mo.
Hope one turns up for you soon.