Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Safari took Frank out and spotted these rather colourful leaves had been swizzled round in a neat little pile by our  gatepost, nice and bright against the dull grey of the paving slabs in the street.

A brief conversation about Bramblings with CR resulted in being offered a lift to see if we could find and photograph the Snow Bunting that had been seen on the beach a few miles up the road yesterday.
Within just a few minutes we pulled in to the car park by the lake where a few gulls and Turnstones were already beginning to roost up in anticipation of the high tide.
Black Headed Gull in winter plumage
We weren't sure exactly which bit of the beach to look at so we headed south along the strandline where we came across numerous Edible Crab carapaces with their distinctive 'pie-crust' edge. This one was a monster as can be seen by the size 9 footprint for scale. We don't get these on the beach at Patch 2 so they were a pleasant surprise. A few native Oysters were also found mostly very old worn ones including one eaten away by a Boring Sponge (not at all boring but interestingly hole-drilling)
Snow was forecast and for once the forecasters weren't wrong. In the few breaks in the cloud we could see a fair smattering of snow on the higher tops of the Lake District. This is the outlying fell Black Combe, at just 1970feet (600m) high and in close proximity to the sea it doesn't often keep much snow, today it melted fairly quickly but was replaced by each passing shower.
After meeting up with MMcG we traipsed up the beach and down the beach with nothing to show for our traipsing but a handful of Sanderlings and a few more Turnstones, individuals of both species gave us 'false alarms' as did a flock of Linnets that flew up from the lower strandline. 
Eventually MMcG spotted the buntings only feet in front of us on a stretch of beached we'd been over twice before - where had they been hiding? So close were they at first they were too close for us to focus on with the long lens!Yes there were now two of them, doubling the count JS had yesterday!
Unfortunately they were very mobile and seemed to prefer the shaded areas which wasn't good for pics on such a dull day...not only that but they just never kept still. We fired a feew shots off of which these are easily the 'best' but we did get some stonking views in the bins...Snow Bunting in the bag (W-274; BI-188) - very happy!

With a few minutes to spare CR wanted to have a go at the four Goldeneyes on the lake, our and his first of this back end. They were a bit distant for our lens so we decided to have a go at the Turnstone roost, but were initially distracted by a young Herring Gull.

We snuck up on the Turnstones by doing this! You'll be thrilled to learn we managed to smear Turnstone and gull sh*t* all over our coat/trousers etc...
Where to next? We're in charge of Frank tomorrow so might well get out on safari somewhere as his leg is getting much better and he needs a bit of exercise and excitement.
In the meantime let us know what's got you crawling around on all fours in your outback.


Anonymous said...

A bit cold (today) to be doing flat on your front) shots Dave.

cliff said...

T'was good to hook up with the Snow Buntings Dave, shame the light was poor whilst we were there which, coupled with the birds being constantly on the move made trying to photograph them very challenging.

I nipped back on Sunday for half an hour 'cos Jane wanted to see them, & the Buntings were far more obliging, feeding out on the beach & in lovely sunshine. I didn't have my big lens or tripod but still managed better photos than I got on Saturday. I think it was the stiff breeze on Saturday that kept them tucked up against the sea wall.