Thursday, 22 September 2011

Not quite windy enough

The Safari left Base Camp in the dark again and it was still breezy but it didn’t feel quite windy enough to produce the goods on Patch 2 later...or was it?
The first bird we heard in the darkness as we walked up the hill was a Peregrine squealing...not a bad start to the day.
Crossing over the first street we saw five Blackbirds hoping around on the pavement, not sure what they would be looking for there at that time of the morning – it hadn’t rained over night so its unlikely there would be worms or snails crawling around.
Getting round to the tower we could see one Peregrine on the usual ledge then walking a few yards more a second came into view tucked in out of the wind behind the cabling that runs down from the comms masts.
In the park we had another five Blackbirds and heard five Robins but nothing else. On the way back we peered into Magpie Wood where we saw some Magpies still asleep in the tree tops but there are still too many leaves to be able to make a proper count.
Over on Patch 2 the tide was just dropping off the base of the wall and the sea was quite rough but not rough enough it would seem. Despite the still stiff westerly the only birds out there were the 250 or so Common Scoters, again the closest flocks were grilled for Velvet Scoters to no avail.
A Sandwich Tern in the middle distance heading northwards was the only other interest...has all the good stuff disappeared after last week’s blow?...surely there must be some left-overs out there.
By the time we were able to get out at lunchtime the wind had dropped a little. Along the tide line was a short stretch of about 100 gulls all jostling for the best position. We saw a couple of them catch Greater Pipefish, which was far more exciting than looking out to sea. Further along the beach only five (what is it with the number five today?) Sandwich Terns took time out for a bit of roost before being disturbed by one of the many dog walkers.
The sea only gave us the ubiquitous Common Scoters...obviously there aren’t any left-overs out there; sun came out though...which was nice...
Where to next? Too windy and from the wrong direction of Patch 1 and not windy enough for Patch 2 so we’ll have to take what comes our way.
In the meantime let us know what the lucky number is in your outback.

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