The Safari took Frank out before we set off to work and watched a rather large and quite unexpected at that early hour of the morning White Tailed Bumble Bee buzz over our head and down the hill.
We went to work along the prom as usual and was very pleased to see that the sea was a lot flatter than we feared was going to be the case.
The advertising of the Dolphin Watch had worked well and we had a fair crowd all eager to see a dolphin or two.
We hadn't long to wait as DB scanned for the gull flock and almost immediately shouted "Dolphin!" We didn't see it, in fact we didn't see much at all for the first half of the watch as we were making sure the others were clued up and and knew what they were looking for and what seabirds were about - not many as it happened unlike earlier in the morning on the rising tide when SD had counted roughly 1500 Cormorants!
We're not sure how many people saw the Bottle Nosed Dolphin but it rolled a couple of times and the same or a different animal was seen briefly again about half an hour later and a couple of miles further north.
A little later a Harbour Porpoise was spotted very close in, so close it was over what would be the bottom end of the beach at low tide. Again it was hard to get folk on to but fortunately it seemed to be going up and down just behind the surf-line and most of the watchers got a glimpse of its small rolls.
Not a lot of birds were out there, a fair few gulls, a flock of five Shelducks went south, half a dozen Great Crested Grebes, a handful of Red Throated Divers and an unIDd auk. Not many Common Scoters today but a close flock acted as a useful marker in a sea otherwise devoid of 'landmarks'.
In the afternoon we went to the nature reserve on a mission but didn't stay too long and saw not a great deal. A nice flock of Long Tailed Tits, weird to think that when we started working there they almost unknown there. Thrushes were well represented with a lot of Blackbirds, some Redwings, good numbers of Fieldfares passing through and a solitary Song Thrush.
We didn't have much of a look on the water but noted a small number of Wigeon and couldn't find the female Pintail we'd been told about. A comedy moment was relived when we watched a Little Grebe fly half the length of the mere - last time we saw that a gale was howling and the poor bird was being blown ar*e over breakfast across the waves.
Mission over we called it a day before the Starlings had even thought about gathering - Base Camp beckoned.
Where to next? While the Whiting feeding Harbour Porpoise still be about tomorrow? Will the now distant bait shoal still have its Bottle Nosed Dolphin(s)?
In the meantime let us know what's doing the fishing in your outback.