Thursday, 12 April 2012

Thought slavery had been abolished

The Safari was out on Patch 1 at first light and was half way up the hill when we heard the sound of Pink Footed Geese; we’d already heard some earlier from our pit at 03.15! Looking up we just had to stand and stare, mouth shut – just in case! There were hoards of them, huge ‘V’s breaking into smaller ones and those joining up again. Their sound was impressive. Not sure how many birds, too awestruck to count, but well in excess of 500 – what a great way to start the day!

Being on a late start we did a few chores around Base Camp to let the worst of the traffic do its thing then set off to work via the little woodland next to the zoo in the hope of some summer migrants. We got a couple of Chiffchaffs and a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker but no Willow Warblers. A Blackcap at the very end of our time limit before turning back was the highlight – well almost...years ago when we worked out of the zoo their was talk of building a Wolf enclosure but nothing ever happened...until is well underway to bring these fantastic animals back to the Lancashire coast, wonder how many centuries they’ve been absent? Wire cutters for a quick re-introduction scheme anyone ;-) Can’t wait to hear em howl, hopefully we’ll be able to hear that most evocative of sounds from Base Camp if the wind is ever in the right direction.

The young uns were waiting for us at work – ready and willing to slave away volunteer for a few hours. They had already had a bit of seawatch searching for yesterday’s Black Throated Diver and come up with a Long Tailed Duck instead, which are always a good find here.

As ever they kept their eyes and ears open while working and got a few Meadow Pipits going over and three Linnets which we got on to too (P2 tick). Despite the warm sunshine no butterflies turned up but when we got out of the shelter of the garden the wind was brisk and cold which would explain the lack of flutters.

After their period of slavery was over, they marked out our wild-flower area in an attempt to keep the mowing machine drivers away from it this year, we had another short seawatch.

Good numbers of Razorbills were joined by a few Guillemots (P2 tick). A close in diver teased us for a good while in the choppy conditions until between us we had enough to ID it as a sum plum Red Throat.

In the middle distance a bit of a bait ball must have formed as we had a brief flurry of gull activity which include three Little Gulls, a Kittiwake, a couple of Common Gulls and several Herrings; gulls that is not the fish!

Still a few distant flocks of Common Scoters away on the horizon in the sunny shimmer but no Manx Shearwaters yet.

Where to next? More of the Patch 2 seawatching same.

In the meantime let us know who’s slaving away looking for stuff in your outback.

One thing we did discover of interest yesterday was about the Scottish Mighty Midgee, Culicoides sp...apparently acording to the national data-base it isn't recorded over much of Scotland so if you fancy a midge free summer holiday up that way have a look here to find a midge free area...good luck!!!

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Watching those Geese sounded fantastic Davo. I get mesmerised just by a couple of hundred Canada Geese going over in the Autumn!