Saturday, 7 April 2012

Tiger, Great White or Mighty Midgee?

The Safari would like to know which of the above you'd prefer to be bitten by, given the (Hobson's) choice of course.
We saw one, didn't see one and got eaten alive by the third...can you guess which?
Yep the Mighty Midges were ferocious today!
We got to the marshes to watch the tide come up, a high one today but could have done with a bit  of westerly wind to push it a bit higher. 

A small crowd was already in situ. Within minutes we'd found a Great White Egret (145 - and a Fylde tick) and no they don't bite but we wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of their very sharply pointy beak.
The Young Uns came in from a sortie round the corner and they told us they'd seen two Avocets. We followed a friend of ours who also wanted a see these (still) Fylde rarities. We found the second Great White Egret, a fly by male Red Breasted Merganser (146) over the river was nice but it took a lot of searching before we spotted the two Avocets (147 - and another Fylde tick!)  asleep behind a clump of Hard Rush. They did eventually get up and have a short stroll around the pool.
The Young Uns also found us four soaring Buzzards, the start off a good day's raptoring. A Merlin was next to be found hunkered distantly on a huge chunk of driftwood. One of the group spotted a ring tailed Hen Harrier, nice! It flew around a little before finding a snag to perch on over the tide giving pretty good views as it preened for a long time. Hope it survives the summer wherever it goes...please sign this petition if you haven't already, lots of people haven't as there's still less than 10,000 signatures recorded - Where are you all?
After the politics back to the Safari's proceedings with a Peregrine...another species prone to illegal persecution in the uplands within sight of the marshes.
The same member of the group shouted Short Eared Owl (148) and following his directions we got on to it well hidden in the grass, difficult to see though unless it moved its head.
As the tide rose we were concentrating on Jack Snipe and Water Pipits but neither showed :-( A couple of Common Snipe and a few Meadow Pipits but neither of the goodies - the  chap next to us found a Water Pipit but between him offering us a look in his scope and us getting our eye to it it either flew of dropped in to the vegetation and didn't reappear for any of us despite through searching for the next ten minutes or so.
Whilst waiting for the Water Pipits we had the trio of herons in the scope at the same time but unfortunately not quite in the camera's field of view so that they'd be recognised...keep your eye on the short post with a lean to port.

All in all a pretty productive safari even if the midges took at least a pint of blood!
Later a trip to the beach with Wifey and Frank gave us a Darvik ringed Herring Gull but without the camera or bins we couldn't get a read. we walked up to it calmly and within a few yards of getting the numbers a loud family walked passed between us and it and guess flew a mile down the beach...that'll teach us to leave the optics back at Base Camp!
 Yep we all got very muddy!
Thankfully only Frank needed hosing down in the garden before being allowed indoors.
Where to next? Family duties tomorrow so probably no updates...unless the mothy goes out.
In the meantime let us know how many Ospreys went over your outback today, seems to have been a fair few through Safari-land this arvo.


Anonymous said...

Well done with the GWE, Dave.

In answer to your in the meantime question. I`ve been hoping for an Osprey to pass over, but to no avail, as yet.

cliff said...

Nice one getting GWE & Avocets Dave, I've never seen either locally.

Looks like you're giving that ball some welly there, hope Frank ducked out of the way of that one.

Stuart Price said...

So Great Egrets are colonizing the NW too? I remember the days when people used to twitch Little Egrets.

Stuart Price said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

I was one of those who twitched Little Egret Stu, Anglesey about 15 years ago....Glossy Ibis next to colonise or another of the herons perhaps.



Christian said...

Brilliant trip Dave - incredible species seen. Wonder what it would be like to be bitten by a Bittern?