A few Robins ‘tick’ed and a couple of Blackbirds ‘chuck’ed and that was about it for the rest of Patch 1.
As it was the tide had only just left the wall and the recent storms have scoured large areas at its base leaving deep wide runnels which severely hampered access to the rockpools. The darkness meant that three Green Shore Crabs were footling around on the beach. Plenty of Brown Shrimps found their way into the nets but only one very small Common Prawn, hiding amongst the shrimps was one of the largest Sand Gobies we’ve ever seen. Other than that we found a few of the regular shells before we were totally enveloped by the darkness. We’ve never done shell searches by torchlight before!
At Patch 2 the tide was dropping but most of the beach was still covered. A line of gulls stretched out along the water’s edge looking to see if anything tasty might appear, with them two Great Black Backed Gulls waited to steal someone else’s breakfast.
Out at sea the wind had made it very choppy with a lot of white horses, consequently the Common Scoters were harder to estimate today so we stuck with a conservative 300 or so, some of which were very close inshore while there was also plenty of to and fro movement out towards the horizon. Whilst trying to count some of the nearer flocks more accurately two Ringed Plovers flew past; the highlight of the session...big wow!
Not much better at lunchtime, the only real difference being that it was even windier and the sea was swathed in 2 metre+ waves tumbling all over each other. Bird-wise the two southerly Ringed Plovers were replaced by a single Red Breasted Merganser going north and the beach held two small Sandwich Tern roosts of 7 and 10 birds with another four being seen battling southwards a good way offshore. No obvious change in the Common Scoter numbers although the heavy sea was making them fly around a good bit, sadly deffo no Velvet Scoters seen with the closer Commons and nothing ‘exciting’ from the seabird pages of the field guide to trouble the notebook.
Hopefully the wind will remain fairly strong for another day or so and we might see some of the more exotic sea birds we missed last week.
Where to next? Patch 2 looks favourite.
In the meantime let us know what the you hope the wind will bring to your outback