Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lively ten minutes at Patch 2

The Safari neglected to inform you that we had a Lifer yesterday. During an essential Frank walk whilst on our family visit we spotted a Tree Bee in a neighbouring garden. What a crackingly bright animal and it’s always good to find something new.
This morning we headed off down the prom in heavy drizzle. To our right the sea was choppy and the visibility poor with low cloud heading our way...certainly didn’t look like a June morning should.
We passed R’ouzel Puddle which today only held a few bits of litter, not a bird in sight!
After getting organised in the office we pulled the scope from the draw and wandered over to the sea wall in eager anticipation – we’ve not had a good look at the sea for quite some time now and have missed out on a fair few local goodies and a couple of year birds for our challenge with Monika who has snuck in to the lead again.
Straight away we landed on a Gannet going north in the distance and a black blob close in behind the heavy surf had us waiting for it to reappear, a white bellied 1st winter male Common Scoter. More Gannets went by and then the first three of nearly 50 Manx Shearwaters we seen going the opposite way. Flocks of three and four Common Scoters made their way southwards at range.
A couple of unidentified terns battled against the wind in the distance as did a yacht which looked as though the occupants were rather uncomfortable as it pitched, rolled and yawed through the waves.
We’d have liked to stay out longer given the numbers of Manxies passing but time was running short and the rain getting ever closer.
Lunchtime soon came round and we were out again, this time in warm sunshine...certainly warmer outside than in the office!
Not as much was doing although the tide was fully in. A pale distant duck was a...answers on a post-card please...male Scaup???
In the middle distance a Grey Seal bobbed about almost as madly as the earlier yacht in the rough and eventually a Gannet mooched past but it was hardly awe-inspiring.
We got a phone call which called a halt to proceedings just as we got on to a group of five very distant Manx Shearwaters.
And that was that!
Where to next? More patch2 shenanigans - it looks like Patch 1 visits will be few and far between now as Frank has been to the vets this arvo and been told he has quite severe arthritis in his elbow, perhaps as a  result of an unknown trauma sometime in his youth; anyway excersise is now restricted to a minimum to help prevent it flaring up and totally disabling him...poor old mutt - and he's on pain killing juice for the rest of his more footy with him them but perhaps if the weather warms up we'll get him doing a bit of swimming in the sea.
In the meantime let us know what's flying around in the distance in your outback

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