Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Coulda stayed out a lot longer.

The Safari was out late last night with big Frank and we heard our first Pink Footed Geese of the season going over. We looked up at the stars but didn’t see any disappear and reappear as a goose flew by. By the sound’s they were making there was a good number of them and they were flying inland. It would be a sad loss if the geese were to become a thing of the past, we aren’t a great fan of them - bit like feathered sheep – but there is something spiritual and uplifting about hearing their calls either in the darkness as they fly by night or their conversation while they feed in the fields...more/all people should abandon their consumer lifestyles and give the telly a miss if only for a few hours just to sit, listen and reflect on the world around them.
This morning our early morning walk didn’t get as far as the tower but we could hear plenty of Robins and a Sparrowhawk whizzed past in the half light hoping to nab an unwary one.
Out on Patch 2 a trawler hauled its nets very close inshore surrounded by gulls but nothing more exciting was with them. Plenty of Common Scoters were out there, with the flatter sea we guesstimated well over 500 but again we could find the odd one out – if indeed there is an odd one out with them.
There was a bit of ‘vis’ going on; in the few minutes we were on the seawall we had eight Pied Wagtails, 13 Meadow Pipits, and a flock of 10 Linnets all going south while a single Grey Wagtail bucked the trend and went north. Three Sandwich Terns made their way out to sea, there won’t be many more sightings of those this year. No doubt if we’d have been able to get out a little earlier and stay out a little longer we’d have been able to fill a few pages of the notebook with passage birds...isn’t work a pain – oh to be independently wealthy!

We had an event on at a school near the nature reserve in the afternoon so we had our lunch there before going into class.

Two male Gadwall were with a few Mallards on the loafing area that was cut at the weekend. Both Cetti's Warbler and Water Rails called but remained unseen unlike the multitude of dragonflies which were seen but obviously not heard. Not a lot else was happening but a juvenile Cormorant posed nicely on the 'goal-post'. Is it possible to get juvvy Cormorants to subspecies? ie is the gular angle on this young chap wide enough for sinensis or is it too variable to be able to tell at this age.

After school we nipped down to the estuary for an hour as a Curlew Sandpiper was seen there yesterday. Lots of Lapwings, Redshanks, Golden Plovers and 'ordinary' Curlews but no small waders at all; no Ringed Plovers, no Dunlin, and certainly no Curlew Sandpipers - becoming a bit of a bogey bird this sesason...five Knot were the pick of the waders and a Little Egret was the first we've seen there for quite some time. we had a reasonable check through the gulls but saw no Mediterranean Gulls and couldn't turn any of the few Common Gulls into a storm blown Ring Billed Yankee.

Back at Base Camp a game of footy in the park with Frank before tea gave us our second Sparrowhawk of the day and the first Great Spotted Woodpecker in there for some time.

Where to next? More Patchy stuff - still hopeful of finding something a bit different in with the Common Scoters - something as simple as a Red Throated Diver would do!

In the meantime let us know what's loafing about in your outback.


Anonymous said...

I agree, Dave. There`s no better sound in nature, than the calls of wild geese.

cliff said...

A very nice set of photos there Dave.