The Safari wasn’t out long as usual on Patch 1 but still managed to get a patch tick when a pair of Great Black Backed Gulls (P1 #36) flew over calling loudly and causing a more than a bit of panic amongst the rooftop nesting Herring and Lesser Black Back Gulls. Just goes to show how little we’ve done on the patch this year if we’ve had to wait a few days short of a full six months to find this species AND we’re still waiting for a Patch 1 Common Gull!!!
The drive to work showed a slightly choppier than of late sea and nothing again on R’ouzel Puddle. Grabbing the scope we headed over the road to strain our eyes into grey murk for...wait for it...a distant Grey Seal and a couple of Sandwich Terns...and a silvery something floating in the distance, possibly some inflatable cartoon character or other – deffo not the driftwood from yesterday which had disappeared off the beach.
We settle down at our desk and began the days toil. Not long after our second brew of the morning we got a txt from a colleague telling us she was at a site and it was a sight worth seeing, a quick conversation later and the Land Rover was out of the car park and pointing north to a new Health Centre complex. Here the landscaping had included much groundworks and some wildflower sowing along with SUDS – Sustainable Urban Drainage – pulling into the car park we were met with a veritable riot of colour and life – WOW – IMPRESSIVE. A school group was also on site planting wetland plants into the drainage swales – EXCELLENT. A PERFECT foil to the doom n gloom about ‘over-tidying’ we ranted on about yesterday.
We met the landscape manager who was really enthusiastic about what he and his team had created. It’s to be hope the site’s top brass don’t see it as ‘untidy’ and order someone to mow it to death although we did discuss management and maintenance options to hopefully head that nonsense off at the pass.
Whilst there we spotted a plant we didn’t recognise – it may be ‘just’ White Campion but we don’t think so the leaves aren’t right. BTW the some of the Red Campion seedheads at work have Campion moth caterpillars in them.
Yellow Rattle was good to see as it should help keep the longer grasses at bay.
Although it wasn’t sunny the place was alive with bees and we saw a spankingly fresh Small Tortoiseshell, a Common Blue, a pair of dancing Holly Blues and this rather battered Small Copper.
Back at the office butties were rammed down our cakehole so as we could get on the beach and try to photograph the Plumose Anemone. We couldn’t; our sneaky plan of putting the camera in a placcy bag failed when the bag in question sprung a leak and drowned the camera – good job it wasn’t the new posh camera...have an even more cunning plan involving a periscope tomorrow!!!
With a failed camera we wandered around a bit on the beach spotting goodies like Squid eggs! Nothing for it but to race back to the office and get the good camera. Never seen Squid eggs before although we have discussed with others the possibility of snorkeling around the pier legs in summer if the water ever gets warm and clear enough looking for Cuttlefish.
Plenty of Necklace Shells about and still alive too.
A few Edible Whelks were found and checked for Hermit Crabs, the last one did have a crab but ‘only’ a very small and shy Green Shore Crab.
More Necklace Shells were found including some with their foot out and a couple with the prickly piggy-back riders Hedgehog Hydroids – at least that’s what we think it’s called.
And we got our best, but not really any good, pic of the Plumose Anemone...
Better luck with the periscope tomorrow? We’ve a feeling it’ll the periscope will make it too dark for photography but we can but try and see what happens.
Where to next? Who’s going to have to try to beat the Germans; Spain or Portugal?
In the meantime let us know what surprises lay in wait in your outback.