Friday, 16 November 2012

Last rays of the day

The safari made the middle pages of the local newspaper again with our Dolphin Watch last weekend.
Unfortunately the comment by easyman777 is very wrong; sadly these creatures do have to swim in polluted seas and suffer the consequences of doing so as being the top predators they are prone to concentrating various pollutants such as heavy metals and dangerous organic compounds in their blubber which can then be ‘fed’ to their offspring by lactating mothers who use their some of their fat reserves to produce milk for the infant. The bating water sampling referred to only tests for microbial load 
The laboratories analysing the bathing water samples count the number of certain types of bacteria, which may indicate the presence of pollution, mainly from sewage or livestock waste. Total coliforms, faecal coliforms, mineral oils, surface-active substances and phenols. From 2012 all EU Member States will begin to monitor and report the measured values of concentrations of two microbiological parameters — intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli
 Due to historical ignorance, hindsight is a marvellous thing, many of our existing wastewater collection (sewerage) systems are often 'combined' in that they receive foul sewage from homes and commercial premises, as well as surface water following rainfall. After periods of heavy rain a mixture of surface water and foul sewage can be discharged to the environment via combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and may impact bathing water quality and affect human health.
We have to tell you that much of the ‘pollution’ on our beach ISN’T ours – it comes down the rivers that flow into the estuary to the south of us and from there the tidal currents dump it on our beautiful beach...thanks guys! NOT!!! Although we have to add the proviso that a huge engineering scheme by our water company is nearing completion in Preston and that will help prevent many pollution incidents like the ones we witnessed during this very wet summer.
All the creatures in the sea need our help. Please support thecampaigns to encourage the govamint to get their fingers out and declare 127 Marine Conservation Zones  

Looking at our Harbour Porpoise sightings chart (goes back to Jan 2008) our sighting on Sunday (arrowed) was slap bang in the middle of the ‘expected’ zone. 

We are pleased that the majority of sightings have been after high tide as that takes out the bias of increased observer effort because the birders usually pack up and leave once high tide arrives or soon after. It could mean that most birders don’t report their Harbour Porpoise sightings in which case the chart is pants! Why does ‘science’ always seem to create more questions than answer it was trying to find in the first place?

Last night we had a group in learning about sustainability which meant a late finish but that gave us an opportunity to have a look at the sunset we’d noticed brightening he binds across the office window.

After dark the Mirror Ball is lit with multi-coloured/patterned techno-laser lights – so we had a bit of an experiment with that – never tried getting pics of it after dark before.
The results are OK but not in the same league as some of these  

Little to report today although a chilly morning patch 2 session gave us our best count of Oystercatchers this ‘winter’ 138 and a shed load more beyond our southern boundary. Sanderlings were uncounted and in the gloom it looked as though some of them might have been Dunlins. The rising waters were covering the outfall pipe (disused) making the four Turnstones beat a measured retreat along its Mussel covered length
Another short and chilly, grey session over the last 10m tide of the year gave us little reward. Three Great Crested Grebes and a few small flocks of Common Scoters were disappointingly all we could muster on a fairly flat sea that promised a far lot more than it delivered.

Where to next? An appointment with the winter thrushes along part of the North Blackpool Pond Trail in the morning.
In the meantime let us know who's making the mess in your outback


Blackpool Nature said...

Hi Dave !

Great sunset pics - beat mine hands down !
Thanks for the discourse on the environmental effects of sewage - time for the powers that be to get their act together and create more marine conservation areas around our coast - might get some whales then !



'Woof' to Frank

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

40 pilot whales off N Wales yesterday Peter

Blackpool Nature said...

WOW - Shouldn't that be North Whales then !


Deano said...

great set of shots Dave,