Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Momentum couldn’t be maintained

The Safari’s excitement of yesterday was given a severe quashing this morning as we woke up to a damp dank dreary drizzle infested morning. Yesterday’s haul was all the more notable in that, probably for the first time ever, we ‘beat’ the South-side’s indefatigable super seawatcher BMcC for quality if not quantity although he was watching for several hours longer than we were able to. (See comments here for his counts). Will we ever achieve that feat again?
Today was extremely poor by comparison but not totally lacking in interest. On Patch 1 a different Song Thrush was heard singing away across the school playing fields; in the dreary conditions we cut short Frank’s early morning walk so nothing else was recorded.
At Patch 2 the thick mizzle was all-enveloping we couldn’t see the tops of the rides at the nearby Pleasure Beach and out to sea was just a filthy grey murk.
The rapidly incoming tide had yet to cover the last few yards of beach and we counted 102 Oystercatchers and a Knot (P2 No 31). One of the Oycs was a very distinctive leucistic individual we’ve never seen before. It had a very white head with just a mask of black around the eyes, a broken black breast band and a smoky charcoal grey mantle interspersed with white speckling – a really bonny looking bird, it also had a limp and spend much of the time sat on the beach while all the other Oycs were feeding around it.
Only two of the Great Crested Grebes were seen today and Common Scoters could have numbered anything as we couldn’t see most of those probably out there for the low cloud.
A noisy flock of House Sparrows (88) was thrashing its way through the garden shrubbery, the males all wings a-flutter displaying wildly.
There was a little hazy sunshine for our lunchtime safari and the mist and low cloud had lifted. A small flock of Grey Plovers (89) came whizzing past but other than that it was all Common Scoters with a few distant Red Throated Divers. Great Crested Grebes on the other hand put in a fine performance with 11 being found mostly tucked away in the scoter flocks.
As we turned to leave we heard the fsst of a Rock Pipit (90) from the other side of the wall.
Again no pictures :-( must try harder!
Where to next? More of the same although the weather isn't forecast to be as bad as it was today.
In the meantime let us know whose feathers are ruffled in your outback.

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