Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Pterodactyls galore

The Safari's day dawned dry but breezy and as we headed to work we could see the sea was to choppy to be able to find and cetaceans.
Once it became light enough we took the scope over the road to Patch 2 anyway and found that the visibility was much better than expected, the wind was a bit keen though.
The sea was indeed pretty chopped up and there was no chance that we’d see the/any dolphin(s). There might have been one/some out there as the constant passage of large flocks of Cormorants heading out to sea was impressive. We’d noted a couple go past before starting to count them; at least 550 went out of the estuary low over the waves and about 100 or so (less rigorously counted) came back in to the estuary at a greater height. How many were double counted is impossible to know. Not too far offshore there was a huge feeding frenzy going on with Cormorants all over the place. If it had been Gannets during the summer it would have been even more spectacular. The surface of the sea was dotted black with them, when they could be seen in the chop and the sky above was filled with them wheeling round looking for the best spots to drop down.
Not much else was with them, no more than a handful of gulls and no other fish eaters. Perhaps there were no mammals or predatory fish driving the shoal to the surface and the gulls knew that they were too deep and only accessible to the Cormorants.
Plenty of Common Scoters milling about in their usual way and a very dapper drake Eider was close inshore were the best of the rest.
Even though the wind was on the cool side had we been able too we would have given it a lot more time just in case anything else was drawn to the frenzy.
 Not so many at lunchtime – only 50 or so Cormorants still heading out to sea but no gull activity to suggest anything near the surface.
The supporting cast was just a couple of Red Throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe were seen.
This article appeared in our local paper, obviously the press has picked up on the 2500+ birds/day disappearing from our lovely countryside. Rachel Carson might well have been right all along.
That’s about 2500 birds ‘disappearing’ every day for 46 years!!!
Luvin the mostly inane comments!

A big sarcastic “thank you” to the tw*t who has stolen/chucked the feeder by the office window.

At teatime Frank was eager for a trip around Patch 1 for a very refreshing change. The Peregrine wasn't on its ledge but a Fox in the Golden Triangle (how long is it since we mentioned there?) got Frank's engine re-tuned! A wander past Magpie Wood was informative - we could only see nine Magpies but the new street lights throw a totally different pattern of light and don't illuminate the higher branches of the trees half as well as the old lamps - fancy that street lights that light the pavement and road instead of the sky...woulja believe it!
Where to next? Another sunny day with light winds according to the forecasts, could be good!
In the meantime let us know what's doing the fishing in your outback.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"A big sarcastic “thank you” to the tw*t who has stolen/chucked the feeder by the office window."

They just can`t leave nowt alone !!!!