Sunday, 15 May 2011

The answer, my friend, is beggering about in the wind

The Safari had wanted an early start on fine morning to do the breeding bird survey then go looking for Adders, Eagle Owls and Redstarts but the vile conditions put paid to all that. What we got was cold wet and very windy. We set off to Patch 1 head down and hood up against the heavy drizzle and once there only really noted a good number of Woodpigeons and one singing Chiffchaff, everything else was staying well out of the weather so the survey was a non-starter - the paper would have got sopping wet and unwriteable on-able too. We did see a male Sparrowhawk darting through the gardens carrying a prey item back to its nest and a male House Sparrow left the eaves of a house on the other side of the road and made a long flight to the gardens by the water tower - if the school gardeners hadn't been so drastic with their pruning a couple of years ago then food would have been available only a few wingbeats away!

Nothing for it but to go back to bed and dream of better times.

Several hours later (!!!) things hadn't changed so any far flung safari to add to our total in our challenge with Monika (who hit the jackpot today, not with the birds though! - btw anyone else having trouble open her site or is it just the Safari's pcs?) was not going to happen.

Time for a change of plan...Chat Alley...marvelous place in a cold brisk westerly wind...NOT. We loaded up bins, scope, camera and Frank and headed over the hill to the sea. Visibility was poor-ish, we could just about make out a fairly large ship navigating the Wyre channel into Fleetwood. A scan out to sea gave us nothing but a solitary Lesser Black Backed Gull and on the cliffs themselves a few of the local Starlings and House Sparrows searched for bugs. Didn't even make it to Pipit Slab today, turned back a few hundred yards short - didn't really see the point of carrying on any further.

In the little ornamental garden a Blackbird hopped about under the recently savaged Tamarisk bushes - just about the only shrubbery that will survive this close to the sea but why was it hacked so severely a few days before it was about to flower - nothing for the bees...assuming the weather warms up enough for them to fly, it's now a little after noon and the temperature is 10.3C!!!...Brrrr - its beginning to seriously irk all this overpruning at precisely the wrong time malarkey...becoming a right grumpy ole gardener.

Still we did get you a pic in the end, not of one of the beautiful patches of Thrift and Birds Foot Trefoil that are looking splendid on the cliffs but of Soft Brome grass....marvelous we hear you sigh.

Well it's one of our favourite grasses and they don't get enough attention - looking really good at the mo with its silvery slightly blobby heads blowing about in the wind - about the only thing this wind is any good for.

Where to next? Somewhere less windy and depressing please and we've still got that survey to do.

In the meantime let us know what's whistling down the wind in your outback.

Might get out on Patch 1 again later so check back in to see if we've found you anymore grasses...


Warren Baker said...

I thought it was cold here Dave, but looks like you had it worse,24C here tomorrow, that'll be Monday then!

cliff said...

Well Dave I hope you have better weather in your couple of weeks off than me & the missus have had this last week. Bloody wind has been infuriating, I was hoping to do some macro insect photography but not a chance. Everything in the garden looks totally windswept, but hopefully will all perk up when the wind finally abates. Back to work @ 7 tomorrow, how tedious!