Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wasn’t expecting THAT warbler

The Safari headed out onto a cool Patch 1 this morning. At the Golden Triangle the Blackcap out-sung a Robin and a Dunnock in the musicality stakes.
Getting nearer to the Butterfly Zone we could here the Chiffchaff and Blackcap but were concentrating on listening to our right where any Whitethroats or Lesser Whitethroats are most likely to be heard. It was then our attention was swung fully 180º round to the left...a Sedge Warbler, WTF was that doing singing in that thick bit of thicket? Who cares – it was new bird for the patch even if it was skulking in the ‘wrong’ bit of habitat. Patch 1 all-time total now stands at 75 and a healthy 51 for the year.
Just two more Blackcaps were heard on our safari round the park and no sign of the Coal Tit this morning, but we did hear a Chaffinch singing so they’re still around and there are at least a couple of pairs of Greenfinches kickin about. The latter don’t appear to have suffered the population crash here that they have in other areas.
A crashing of Woodpigeons exploding out of the tree tops indicated that the Sparrowhawk might have just dashed through.
On the way back through the Butterfly Zone we found our first predated egg of the season, a Blackbird’s.
Over on Patch 2 they tide was a low one and just on the turn. Nothing much appeared to be about but we soon found a flock of four very distant Common Scoters followed by another four flying much closer. A couple of Red Throated Divers on the water were noted to be still in winter plumage and another couple were seen in flight more distantly.
Close inshore a Cormorant caught a few small fish although they must have been large enough to warrant it bringing them to the surface to swallow. This piscivorous activity brought a Great Black Back Gull in to investigate if there was anything to steal.
Out to sea we picked up a tern which we kept with for a while until it, and another a bit further behind it, came past within ID range, two Arctic Terns (163).
The final birds of the short session were four Gannets heading north way out towards the horizon.
Our lunchtime safari was a waste of good viewing conditions with very little seen except for far too much litter floating about in the near to middle distance, the sea being the victim of a warm holiday weekend
The beach was very disturbed with bait diggers, dog walkers, cyclists and horse riders; a plague of the accursed hominids. The only small scattering of gulls was distant to the south silhouetted in the shimmer.
Where to next? Day off tomorrow followed by yet more public holidays – don’t yer just love those royals! – So we should be on safari somewhere in the remoter regions of our outback and we have a couple of new sites to check out.
In the meantime let us know how the hominid plague is infesting your outback.


Anonymous said...

Well done on patch 1`s first Sedgie, Dave. It`s always a good feeling to get a patch first, whatever guise it comes in.

Warren Baker said...

Whey hey, a sedgie, well done Dave :-)