Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Hot n hazy

The Safari was out on Patch 1 this morning and heard loud shrieks coming from the water tower but it wasn’t until we’d got back to Magpie Wood that we could make out where the Peregrine was sitting – it was tucked in behind the comms cables.
A Song Thrush at the corner of the Golden Triangle was the first we’ve come across down there for a good while but we couldn’t say if it was a resident or one that had bobbed in off- passage for the day. An uncomprehensive count of the Magpies in Magpie Wood gave us 23 but there are still a few too many leaves on the trees to be able to get a realistic full count.
At Patch 2 there was a horrid low sea haze which made for a weird light almost impossible to focus the scope in and reduced visibility to about a mile. Despite that we got a good count of waders on the low tide mark, 111 Oystercatchers, just 3 Sanderlings and a nice, but distant, summer plumaged Grey Plover. A flock of four Golden Plovers going south over the beach was a good spot for the patch; as was a late Gannet going north just offshore.
On the water we got a fairly accurate count in the light swell of 254 Common Scoters which suggests we may have been seriously underestimating the numbers out there in recent days. At last something a bit different was in with them, two pairs of Wigeon and a male Eider.
Overhead the haze was enough to blot out any vis happening but we still heard Meadow Pipit(s?),an alba’ Wagtail(s?) going south, and a Grey Wagtail (the resident?) going north.
By lunchtime the light was even worse as the sun had moved round to the south. Five Sandwich Terns (2, 2 & 1) made their way south over the ever-present scoters. Also a fair distance out at sea two ‘bouncy’ passerines going south could well have been Meadow Pipits as two other parties of six came ‘in-off’.
From yesterday those clever iSpotters have given an answer to the Cormorant conundrum based on the most recent research into IDing the two subspecies and come up with ours being a ‘sinensis’ (‘Continental, or at least inland breeding) type.
Apparently the gular angle in greatest in the populations in the warmest regions of the world, perhaps an adaptation for extra gulation to help cooling.

Some weather news now, at 3.30 this arvo it was 25C making it the joint hottest day of the year with 3rd & 26th late September!!!
Where to next? More hot heat tomorrow - will we get to 26C and the hottest day of the year?
In the meantime let us know what's gulating in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

crazy weather Davo :-)

Aussie Glen said...

That aint hot! come lve down Under then you will know what hot is...

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Totally agree AG; but that's as hot as it's got in this rather cooler than of recent year.
Today didn't reach the baking heights of 26 but stuttered around (chilly for you) 22/23C.
Once el nino fires up again my money's still on somewhere in the UK getting a record breaking 40C day...