Thursday, 29 September 2011

What’s beyond the gloom

The Safari was out on Patch 1 just as the first throes of pink hit the dawn sky and despite the breeze it was still very warm...warmer than many of the days in August! All setting up quite nicely for today to be the hottest day of the year. Better watch out as in a week or so it’ll be -5C and we’ll all be whinging about the cold...
Not a lot doing on Patch 1 just the usual Robins and Blackbirds, uncounted today – very remiss of us. No Peregrines were seen on the tower but given the wind direction the could have been round the other side – a text from CR mid morning confirmed two were present and we look forward to seeing his pics in due course.
The haze on Patch 2 was even worse than yesterday, the tide was well out and we could only see another 2-300 yards out to see from the tide line! Far enough to note that there didn’t seem to be any change in the numbers of visible Common Scoters but there wasn’t anything with them today. Hundreds of gulls were on the beach and the most noticeable change with them was a 10 fold increase in the number of Common Gulls from the recent one or two seen to fairly easy count of 20 without peering too far down the beach. Couldn’t find anything more unusual though, with the numbers present you’d think a Mediterranean Gull might be picked out once in a while, certainly more often than just once a year.
There were more Oystercatchers than yesterday at 187 but no other waders, perhaps flushed off by the regularly spaced 11 bait diggers some of whom had head torches so had been ‘working’ for at least two hours. Wonder how much tonnage of Lugworm gets removed from the beach in a year.
Overhead passage was very thin only two Meadow Pipits were seen and another heard and just one alba’ Wagtail heard.
Mid morning we had the strangest call for the Rangers, one almost worthy of April 1st. Apparently there have been reports of half eaten cats and other animals at one of the local cemeteries. After instantly dismissing Zombies we immediately came to the conclusion someone has lost an Eagle Owl or one of the young ‘wild’ ones from Bowland is one the move (there are urban Eagle Owls in several European cities some not too far from our East coast) – but no the sightings reported to the Police by some witnesses are of a large cat-like mammal, tufty ears, no tail – ring any bells? Can’t wait to find out who’s lost one of those from their back yard...and what were they thinking of having one anyway...probably turn out to be Pit-bull or some such other large dog!
Nothing troubled the notebook during our Patch 2 safari at lunchtime. The haze had lifted but other than the usual amount of scoters not a lot was happeniing. The fishermen were reporting numbers of ‘troublesome doggies’ (Small Spotted Catsharks) and a few Dabs but nothing worth taking home for the pan.
Where to next? The weekend is getting nearer and hopefully the Yanks to the north of us will stick around until then.
In the meantime let us know what’s eating the pets in your outback


Anonymous said...

"and we’ll all be whinging about the cold..."

Not me, Dave. Fed up of this heatwave/no birds etc.

Warren Baker said...

Im with Dean, at least you can warm yourself up when its cold :-)

cliff said...

Dave - I'm not very good at deleting emails, consequently I've just found the one you sent me tipping me off where's best to view the Peregrines from & the best times of day - that was 13 months ago!! & I've only just finally managed to photo them today despite being only a few minutes down the round (insert hideously embarrassed smiley here). So, a belated thanks very much, what magnificent birds they are, a real privilege to observe. I think I've got the bug now & will be on the look out for more photo opps from hereon in!