Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Chilly start to a pleasant day.

The Safari left Base Camp with -5ºC showing on the thermometer. The recent cold snap has stopped all but the hardiest Robins from singing.
Once again the morning commute had us gazing in awe at the huge flocks of Starlings leaving the roost on the pier and spreading across the sky in waves as they disperse for a day of blunt beaks on the frozen ground.
Patch 2 was a cheek and ear numbing affair with little to show for our suffering in the bright but hazy conditions. Nine Great Crested Grebes were found none of them too far out and now with most in ‘full sum plum’ it shouldn’t be too long before they disappear to their freshwater breeding grounds. Nothing like the 30, and whopping flock of eight Scaup, seen from the southern end of the patch by FB yesterday when we were too busy elsewhere to be able to get on site :-( .
It was slightly warmer at lunchtime but if anything the wind had picked up a little making it feel colder. Visibility was still poor and to the south impossible with the bright sunlight glaring off the water. Only a handful of Great Crested Grebes could be seen and almost all of the couple of hundred or so Common Scoters were away off in the shimmering hazy distance.
We’ve had better days sea-watching that’s for sure (or should that be foreshore ;-)  )
A brief stop at the big park on the way home gave some photo opportunities and a chance to snap away at some of the colour ringed Coot...far warmer on the fingers than trying to record the details in the notebook. We'll pass these on to KB in due course.

Think last one is Y/bto - W (one missing?)
A man and his young daughter appeared on an after school saunter complete with a loaf of bread which attracted the local Black Headed Gulls

 Why does the most interesting one have to sit the furthest away? 
 We're pretty sure it reads VLJ - anyone recognise him?
Dancing on ice - where's Philip Schofield when you need him?
Then we tried some BiF shots, which turned out to be a little awkward as the wind was in the wrong direction.

Need to work out the settings on the camera a bit more thoroughly to see if we can improve on these results...and the wind making them face towards us wouldn't go amiss...
Where to next? Still need to get in the park and hunt down the woodland species still not yet on the year's tally never know what Monika has been up to during the week and how many species she's been able to add to her list!
In the meantime let us know if the wind was in the right direction in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

I helped out with a colour ringing scheme on House Sparrows here, the little sods always got at least one of the rings off! :-)

Stephen Dunstan said...

VLJ has wintered for several years Dave. Danish bird.

Jonathan Scragg said...

I managed to read the code on the metal ring of the Coot with the missing colour ring at the weekend so can post the info on here when I get it