Friday, 27 April 2012

Redstart ships out?

The Safari had a Willow Warbler singing half heartedly from a garden on the now usual much foreshortened Patch 1 walk. We didn’t see anything at R’ouzel Puddle on the way to work, that’d mainly be due to the dog splashing about in it!
The sea looked nice and calm so we got the scope out quickly and headed on out, but went ‘round’ the back’ and had a few minutes listen and shuffy round the Tamarisk bushes – nothing – not a peep out of the ordinary and nothing more colourful than a Dunnock.
The sea was similarly empty. It took a few scans to find anything at all and that we only a small flock of five Common Scoters. Scan as we might we couldn’t find anything – where were all the Arctic Terns that have been turning up all over the place? There...there they are...coming out of the estuary we picked up a flock of thirteen which made their way steadily northwards. Not far behind were three Sandwich Terns which blogged about and started fishing in front of us. Beyond them in the shimmery distance three Gannets cruised northwards. Hardly over exciting!
During the morning we had a few brews and at each venture down the corridor towards the kettle we kept an eye out through the windows and while the tea was brewing had a quick walk round but no joy. We did hear a couple of little rattles which could have been the first part of the Redstart song but nothing conclusive.
At lunchtime we spent a bit longer looking and listening to no avail. So back out to the wall it was.
That was almost to no avail too until we heard a Ringed Plover calling below us. It was doing the ‘bat’ display flight round and round a large pool left by the tide and eventually landed at the far end of it. All rather futile as the tide was rising and the pool was about to become full blown sea! Great to watch though, still have the notes from the first time we noticed this behaviour way back in the early 70s!
Scanning the sea was proving hard work until we found the dot of a Grey Seal’s head in the distance to the south. About to give up and go Redstarting again we spotted a large bird being harassed by a young gull. They were distant and the shimmery light was awful but we stuck with it as it looked as though it was going to turn in to something worthwhile. Eventually the gull forced it to dive below the horizon and against the better contrasting background of the sea we saw it was a male Marsh Harrier (166, 66)...not the first we’ve seen from here but very nice all the same. The gull gave up the chase and the harrier continued to fly due west straight out to see for some considerable distance before it turned due north and was soon lost to view in the haze.
All this nonsense goes to prove the old adage that good things come to those that wait, or we should have stayed out longer and got loads more...did we hear a distant Whimbrel at one stage???
A quick blast of footy with Frank at tea-time gave us a Blackcap singing in the Golden Triangle. And this vandalised Ash tree...
This is a posh(ish) estate and we need to get some tree planting done nearby and not with just cheapo 10-a-penny whips.
Where to next? Weekeennnnnnddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And we need to get some pictures of hedgerows for a school habitat project so we’ll be on safari somewhere.
In the meantime let us know what the gulls are harassing in your outback

3 comments:

Lucy said...

Thanks for your suggestion re. wrack on Ispot. Came to see your site. Pictures are coming up a slowly so will return late and hope my internet connection is feeling healthier!

Warren Baker said...

Decent Hedgerows are as rare as redstarts on my patch Davo :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Not far off that here either Warren!

Hi Lucy - welcome to our adventures hope you find them fun, interesting and informative

Cheers

D