Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dunno what to call this missive

The Safari was told of a really rare bird as we were leaving work yesterday. One of the fishermen came in and told us he and his mates had managed to grab a Puffin that was struggling in the surf and being bashed against the sea wall after the storms last week. They took it home and fed it up but he came in to let us know it had died yesterday and is now buried in his garden. Puffins are very seldom recorded along our coast.
Last night we took Frank to the beach, the tide was almost up to the wall but we managed a quick kick around on the sand and spotted quite a number of Compass Jellyfish ranging in size from a couple of inches to just short of a foot in diameter.
On the way we were stuck in the commuter traffic and we managed to get these shots of Rest Harrow growing on the edge of the grass verge on the top of the kerb and one of a number of Starlings running about behind it.

Not the best pics as the sun was directly behind them – suffice to say Wifey was in the driver’s seat. As we were setting off from Base Camp waiting to turn onto the main road a cracking male House Sparrow with a huge deep black bib was hanging from the hedge of the corner house – unfortunately we couldn’t wrangle the camera strap from the seat belt before a gap in the queue of traffic had us moving off.
This morning Patch 1 gave us nothing except that the Woodpigeons seemed to be fired up; we witnessed three battles, one, in a tree in the Butterfly Zone, went on for ages, they were going at each other hammer and tongs.
No sign of the Peregrine on the tower but as we rounded the corner onto the main road we heard it calling as it came in. Looking round we saw it carrying a prey item and go round the back of the tower still calling. Then it reappeared and flew low, just above the roof-tops right over our head – fantastic naked eye views which included the entrails of its victim dangling out of the open body cavity...not before breakfast please...
The fisherman also told us he’d seen a dead Harbour Porpoise yesterday on the high tide. We went out onto Patch 2 as normal and there it was floating on the rising tide a few yards offshore.

Also there were about a dozen Sandwich Terns and a pair of noisy Common Terns appeared over the wall heading out to sea as if they’d come from down the road leading to the motorway. Whilst going sown the steps to get closer pictures of the porpoise we flushed nine roosting Redshanks off the bottom of the wall, the first we’ve seen on Patch 2 this autumn.
Went back out as the tide dropped and got chatting to two dog walkers who said they ‘d first seen the porpoise on Monday.
At lunchtime it hadn’t been left on the beach and there was no sign of it, not on the beach nor bobbing about on the tide...strange as we doubt if anyone would have been down at high tide with a grappling hook to drag it in for disposal. With such a gentle tide it can’t have gone far unless it burst in the hot heat...ohhhhh yukkkkk.
The lunchtime safari was blighted by litter. The ebbing tide was covered in it; warm weather, massed crowds and an easterly breeze meant that there were umpteen pop bottles, carrier bags, crisp packets etc to work through. A possible Basking Shark dorsal fin or Grey Seal’s head in the distance was eventually nailed as a squashed plastic cider bottle...nice. While giving this unique bit of jetsam a grilling a white butterfly flew over it...from the distance and the fact we could see it, it was probably a Large White.
Not so much found during gardening club today. A few white butterflies and A.N. Other were flying around our front garden. Of more interest was this mummified moth, beautifully iridescent, an Old Lady perhaps? If so is it tickable as we've not seen one before?

Where to next? Yet more of the sunny same.
In the meantime let us know what’s been mummified in your outback.


Stu said...

LOL at the 'possible' Basking Shark. I was once on a pelagic trip in Japan when someone shouted 'WHALE AT 2 O'CLOCK!!!!!!!!!' We were all snapping away when someone realised it was just a tree.

Phil said...

There's no law about using a camera whilst driving is there? I've got pretty close once or twice. Nothing quite like "being prepared" DM.

cliff said...

Re "we flushed nine roosting Redshanks off the bottom of the wall, the first we’ve seen on Patch 2 this autumn."

This AUTUMN!! That's a bit depressing, I was hoping to cling onto summer for another month or two yet.