Saturday, 21 May 2011

Not another wet weekend!

The Safari is getting a little miffed with the weather of late which after such a warm and sunny April has dwindled into a miserable cold wet and windy May. With a week off work we had high hopes for getting out more often and further afield. At least we got a garden tick this morning when a Swift (31) went over at height totally ignoring our obviously not-so tempting nesting box.

At lunchtime we went to the cliffs to watch the rising tide. The Thrift and Bird's Foot Trefoil looked impressive on the slopes. Red Tailed Bumble Bees were everywhere despite the cool conditions.

Whilst enjoying the floral display two Wheatears flashed their ar*es, now were they migrants or a pair attemptting to nest locally - we onl;y got a good look at one of them, a female...the other has a 50% chance of being a female too.
There is a nice variety of grasses on the slopes as well, although the patch of reddish stuff up the hill a little from the sign post is actually a patch of a Sedge sp. A different altogether much brighter green species of Sedge was also found.

Along the edge of the fence on the flatter crest of the rise amongst the longer grasses is one of the few specimens of Greater Burnet in town.

There would probably be more of this species, as well as a whole host of other wildflowers and associated bees, butterflies and other exciting (and not so exciting invertebrates), were the County Biological Heritage Site grasslands not mown with monotonous keep them 'tidy' and 'under control'...doohhhhh they ought to be how much more interesting???

Out at sea we couldn't find the dreaded Manx Shearwaters, are they becoming this year's bogey bird???

A distant Gannet and a small flock of Common Scoters were all we could find in our couple of hours.

Along the cliff face a couple of Swallows hawked past us doing a fairly long curcuit and were for a short time joined by that rarity this spring, a House Martin.
Close inshore and within yelling range of some fishermen was a Grey Seal. It was fast asleep bottling just behind the surf totally ignoring the viscious verbal abuse being hurled at it by a gaggle of chavs with rods. We know which of the two species should be culled; put it this way the better swimmer is the safe one!!!

The pic is one we've borrowed (with permission) from CR. (Many thanks for the super pic) Our's this afternoon wasn't as well marked as this individual being much plainer dark grey all over - well all over the bit we could see above the surface at least.

Where to next? Excitement knows no bounds tomorrow as we get to travel much further afield than we normally get...all may be revealed this time tomorrow and hopefully we'll year list ticking (pun intended) over again.

In the meantime let us know who needs abuse shouting at them in your outback.

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