Monday, 23 April 2012

Nothing on the east wind

The Safari drove to work looking at a flat calm sea and was hopeful of finding some mammals out there. At ‘Rouzel(?) Puddle’ there were no birds as usual although it does look pretty good for a White Wagtail or two. However, a little further on we did find a new bird for our ‘revamped promenade now with patches of grass’ list...a Carrion Crow bringing the list to four..unIDd thrush sp, feral Pigeon and Herring Gull, if only the Yellow Legged Gull we found during National Whale and Dolphin Watch last summer had been on the grass and not the tarmac...
We went straight out on safari and immediately saw a Grey Seal’s nose poking up above the ripples. Other than that the sea looked to be almost completely empty.
Beyond our southern border there was a good number of Oystercatchers and a large flock, probably 100+, of Sanderlings but our stretch of beach was infested by bait diggers – there were loads of them down at the low water mark. Also seen looking down that way was a second Grey Seal.
Three Shelducks came from along way south and we eventually managed two flocks of seven and eight Common Scoters flying in the distance with four, three and a single found at closer range sat on the water. Near to the three was a nice summer plumaged Red Throated Diver. A large white shimmery thing in the distance was a southbound Gannet. And that was about yer lot.
Nothing was noted going overhead although in the easterly wind we might have expected a bit of vis.
At lunchtime things had taken a turn for the worse...if that was possible. A Great Crested Grebe hung about over what was the beach and a few Cormorants fished here and there. A tight flock of about 20 Common Scoters in the distance added to the four still sat fairly close in to the north. Three Red Throated Divers were seen, all going south, one close, one middle and one far, can’t say fairer than that!
A bit of a bait–ball was attended by a couple of dozen Herring Gulls, a single young Great Black Back and a 2CY Kittiwake, after a few minutes a pair of Sandwich Terns made their way in that direction.
Despite the still calm sea we didn’t see either of the two Grey Seals and yet again no Harbour Porpoises for the Safari.
All a tad on the disappointing side.
All was not lost though as on the way out of the office we spotted a Greenfinch plucking Dandelion seeds on the lawn...a very belated Patch 2 tick, #64.
Then Frank dragged us at great speed up the hill to tthe park...wasn't expecting him to do that. There we had a couple of Blackcaps and a Willow Warbler singing above the din of a gaggle of scrotes doing their best to break in to the pump house for the waterfall.
Where to next? Same again with a bit more excitement hopefully.
In the meantime let us know what didn’t happen in your outback.

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