Monday, 5 November 2012

Flat as a pancake but was there a topping?

The Safari saw that there was no Peregrine on the tower this morning as we drove up the hill to work.
Driving along the prom we eyed the sea excitedly as it was flat calm after a very still frosty night.
So frosty was it that the Mirror Ball had an ice-cap – wonder if the sea level rose when it melted later in the morning.

We got the scope to the wall as soon as possible and were soon disappointed by the lack of activity. Distant black dots were the usual Common Scoters flying around, none were close in on the low tide and distant white dots were gulls which appeared to be mooching around a possible shoal of fish.
Several scans later revealed a fairly distant and too far away to be identified auk, a Red Throated Diver and eventually a Grey Seal, which was good as most of them will be heading off to their breeding grounds far away or already be there.A word of warning for seal spotters though - there may be a small colony of Common (Harbour) Seals developing in the Dee off Hilbre Island so perhaps all seals will need to be checked as to which species theye are from now on; it's only a short swim from the Dee to the Fylde (That's Welsh/Cheshire Dee not Scottish Dee)
On the wall itself a couple of Pied Wagtails poked about and that was it, nothing doing overhead and only a few gulls and Oystercatchers on the beach.
By lunchtime the chill had been warmed away by the blistering sunshine and it really was very pleasant.
Out in the middle distance was the same flock of gulls, a bit nearer now as the tide was on its way in. We thought we saw something dark roll but it could have been one of the Cormorants, there were plenty on the water and more were arriving from all points of the compass.
A huge scatter of silvery fish broke the surface covering an area of about 100 yards and maybe 20 wide sending the gulls into a frenzy and somehow being the signal for yet more Cormorants to appear from further out to sea – how did they know where to go?
Something beneath the fish had pushed them to the surface, bigger fish, or something bigger still? We saw a couple more rolls but very brief and totally inconclusive as to seal or cetacean.
Whilst scanning for the mammal we picked up a diver a fair way closer in. Following it desperately trying to turn it in to a Black Throated Diver was when we saw the best roll a few hundred yards beyond the bird. A biggish dorsal fin and quite a long back suggested a Bottle Nosed Dolphin but scan as we might we couldn’t pick it up again.
Just in time for our Dolphin Watch at the weekend :-) 
We got back to the office quite happy with the 20 minute watch!
A good day had a perfect end.

There was a fine display of Starling murmuration at the pier too as we were stuck at the traffic lights, well over 10000 at a very rough guess. Shame we couldn't stop but the vivid sunset had died down a bit by then anyway.
Where to next? More dolphins tomorrow? Oh we do hope so!
In the meantime let us know what's leaping out of the water in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

Very nice sun-burst Davo :-)

Blackpool Nature said...

Hi Dave !

Sorry I missed you at the Mere - and more importantly missed Frank !
Margaret said she'd been talking to you when I saw her late afternoon.
I'd been up your way first thing in search of the Peregrine - without success !

Nice sunset shots you took last night. Must try and get down for the Dolphin Watch.

Love to Frank


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Peter

The peregrines are very unpredictable at the mo

See you soon


PS Frank says woof!