The Safari has had a variably quiet day today. Most of the morning was spent watching over a still sluggish Frank, he's still asleep but during the day has picked up a little bit and the covering over his wound has come off revealing a very tidy stitching job - should be for a 3 grand price tag!
Our Extreme Photographer was kind enough to come round to Base Camp and help make Frank some safe ramps for getting in and out of Wifey's car...some cunning designs and lots of second-hand carpet to make sure he doesn't slip or jump and hurt himself.
Footy season started today and 'Pool came home with a tasty 2-0 win away from home, 3 points on the board - only another 40 to avoid relegation but bring on another three points on Tuesday night to get the promotion campaign going.
OMG it must be getting close to Christmas - flamin X-Factor just appeared on the telly, that's Saturday nights ruined for the next four months! Is there no end to the sing-vote TV format??? And an advert for gaming in 3-D on a yet another new Nintendo got us thinking are some forms of birding not a very similar thing but in actual real life?
A Willow Warbler hweeted at the bottom of the garden and another was heard during the hot and sweaty - we need to get a lot fitter! - afternoon during the joinery extravaganza along with a very vocal Jackdaw on a neighbour's chimney.
Not much else was noted as most of the time we had our head down.
A little bit more pseudo scientific analysis, this time of species in the nearly widespread 'zone'
Red Legged Partridge - up 27% - won't be going on any of our lists though
Buzzard - up 75% - nice and not before time! Some folks will be getting unreasonably upset by this welcome rise in fortunes and no doubt try as many underhand tricks as they can to get it reversed from irrational smear campaigns to down-right murder!
Kestrel - down 32% - Buzzards must have eaten them all - well Buzzards are now more widespread so there can't be any other explanation!
Lapwing and Curlew are both collapsing - not good - did we really read there were only 400 pairs of Lapwings left in the whole of Wales.
Good old feral Pigeons - down 13% - are these stats for real??? All those pesky town centre Peregrines must be hammering into the vermin with mucho gusto.
Stock Dove - nearly as big a rise as the ferals fell...and more widespread - we really need to get out more...or at least further afield. Obviously not enough raptors in thee wider countryside to keep these seed eating devils down...apart from Buzzards and Red Kites that is both of which would struggle to catch a cold if it was still alive...or maybe they are too busy decimating the really hard to catch smaller birds and stuffed away in cages Pheasant poults.
Cuckoo - a 50% fall in 25 years - no wonder we don't hear them so much these days. good money being well spent to find out the reasons why and then hopefully something can be done about it...still need more big juicy caterpillars in the countryside though even if that turns out to not be a major course of their decline.
Green Woodpecker - not quite the massive 141% increase of their Greater Spotted Cousins but 40% up ain't bad - colonising round here someday soon...now wouldn't that be a welcome addition to our birding safaris
Goldcrests are down by the same amount as Coal Tits are up, very interesting and a bit baffling seeing as how they share quite a lot of habitat...must be some niche separation working very differently on them, can't just be down to size can it?
Quite a lot longer ago than 25 years Long Tailed Tits were a rare bird in our area only occurring at specific locations within specific sites - now they are all over the place and with a 27% increase are set to spread further.
Meadow Pipits are down 23% - well they can't have been eaten by the Hen Harriers can they, probably burned to death in all those Heather/peat fires?
We'll have a look at the scarcer, harder to find or more local species - found in 100 - 499 km squares of the 3000 or so surveyed - tomorrow.
Where to next? Moffy is all set up and ready to lure them in - even got the super-duper Mercury Vapour lamp out tonight courtesy of our away-on-holiday neighbours. Might get an hour at Chat Alley in the morning after the moth trap has been emptied.
In the meantime let us know who's bolted together like the bionic man in your outback.