Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Where’d that wind come from?

The Safari didn’t get anything on a rather cold and blustery Patch 1 walk which didn’t go very far at all.
We had far higher hopes for Patch 2 as the sea was pretty rough as we drove to work and our thoughts turned to all manner of exciting seabirds being blown within range of the scope.
Our hopes were soon dashed after a few scans had us finding a big fat nothing!
Giving up on the sea we checked out what looked like an empty beach. A couple of bait diggers were out there at the low water mark and may well have flushed everything. Further to the south, across our border, there were good numbers of gulls and a lot of Oystercatchers and we could ID several Sanderlings by their scuttling jizz. After a while a few birds started to drift in to the space between the bait diggers, among the gulls and Oystercatchers was a flock of eight Bar Tailed Godwits, a good count for here! 10 Sanderlings had also moved up.
Another few scans of the sea gave us a couple of very distant Gannets and a single close Common Scoter.
Overhead a Meadow Pipit was badly buffeted by the wind as tried to make northward headway.
Find of the safari was much closer though. When we put the scope on the wall we noticed a Sea Slater lurking in the joint in the concrete. Luckily we always carry the pocket camera and got a couple of shots off. 
Then went back for the big camera and got a closer pic for you. 
At least this post isn’t all flippin birds!
The lunchtime safari also promised far more than it delivered. We had a quick look for the Sea Slater but as expected it’d done a bunk.
As soon as we put our scope on the wall two Sandwich Terns and a Red Throated Diver went by ...good start! Sadly downhill all the way from then on...
An age went past before we found anything else cruising through the waves and when we did it was invariably a gull, several Lesser Black Backs made their way northwards at range but other than that it was the local Herring Gulls playing on the wind.
A few small flocks of Common Scoters rode the rollers numbering probably no more then 50. A couple of Cormorants flew past but it was disappointingly hard going; until we found a stocky dark diver close-ish in. We got the briefest of glimpses and watched and waited for the swell to bring it back in to view again – it never happened. Not many minutes later we caught sight of a large dark diver in flight going away from us in the near distance, it banked and showed it definitely wasn’t a Red Throat but didn’t give enough away to say which of the other two it was...would like to think it was a Black Throat but it was probably more likely to have been a Great Northern.
Can’t believe there were no Gannets, Kittiwakes or auks!
Where to next? More of the same but better please.
In the meantime let us know what didn't readily give itself up for ID in your outback.

1 comment:

cliff said...

Dave, that Sea Slater pic with the "big camera" is an excellent pic - looks like you could fill your macro boots with the new camera now bug season is upon us!