Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Happy happy days!

The Safari spotted this little horror crawling around on the Water Lily leaves in the pond at Base Camp when we went out to feed the fish yesterday afternoon, we didn’t have a clue but those clever iSpotters tell us its a Lacewing larva (not seen a lacewing in the garden all year but looks like at least one has been there) .. it is it’s got a scary set of gnashers!
Later on, when out with Frank before bedtime, we could see just one Peregrine roosting on the ledge in the light from the street-lamps.
This morning we had to go Great Crested Newt mitigating again and again there were no newts to mitigate for. As we were nearing the end of our search we got a call from a former colleague who told us he’d just seen four Bottle Nosed Dolphins from where he was working on the promenade. He said they were heading northwards...Luckily we were well north of him and the contractors had turned up early so we could hand over the site (free of newts) to them and high-tail it to the coast. At the traffic lights we took a gamble and turned right heading further north, away from work. Oh boy, are we glad we did. We arrived at our destination and looked over the wall to see a huge flock of gulls hovering over massive splashes just to the south of us, what a bit of luck; we’d overtaken them!
Got the bins and camera out and filled our boots, they were about half a mile offshore and the ‘four’ were now counted as 12 with at least two smaller juveniles. Steadily they followed the Mackerel right up to the only angling boat out at the time – those lads must have had unbelievable views, probably even got wet from the splashes. From where we were we could see some of the fish being chucked out of the water by the bow waves the dolphins were making. Apologies to Monika for the comment on the vid; we appreciate she has had some truly awesome sightings of Orcas recently but she does see them regularly and this was totally unprecedented for our coast.


An early morning start doesn’t get much better than that. Well beyond double chuffed, well beyond triple chuffed even, just think how chuffed we’d have been if we’d have found a Great Crested Newt AS WELL – probably would have burst with excitement! And many many thanks to MO for the tip off without whom etc etc
After all that excitement we weren’t really expecting any more. But come it did...
At lunchtime on Patch 2 we watched a flock of eight Ringed Plovers fly past, a long-awaited year bird for the patch (P2 #67) with a ninth a minute or so behind them. A bit of relief there; was beginning to think we might not get any this year...a scary thought.
Scanning around it was clear, very clear and flat calm in fact, that there wasn’t much about other than about a dozen or so Sandwich Terns buzzing up and down the shoreline. But then we hit another ‘H’ in the middle distance – knock us over with a feather - a Harbour Porpoise! We watched as it rolled several times before disappearing under the surface for good...or so we thought...a few scans later and it reappeared surfacing a few more times before slipping quietly away never to be seen again...superb, brilliant and other expletives – two species of cetacean in one day!!! We then had a little chuckle as by now we had seen more cetaceans today than Common Scoters...that bizarre statistic wasn’t to last :( as we found a small flock of about 200 Common Scoters out in the far distance and in front of them a single Grey Seal.
Mustn’t grumble...
Where to next? Not sure how we’re going to top that but you just never know what the patches are going to throw your way.
In the meantime let us know what’s doing the splashing in your outback.


Dean said...

Nice one, Dave.
I was just as in awe of the ones i saw in North Wales, a few years back.

Warren Baker said...

Thats what we like - Davo full of excitement, well done mate, keep it up :-)

Stephen Dunstan said...

Good job I have just had a hatful of these with Marinelife in Biscay or I wouldn't be talking to you Dave!



cliff said...

What a fantastic spectacle the dolphins must have been, I'm very envious.

Math Resources said...

Lovely pictures and awesome photography shot. Video too was good!!!

Stu said...

Nice one, I've never seen dolphins in NW England.......