The Safari got out onto Patch 2 a little earlier than yesterday because their was actually a dawn today and the sun was coming up.
It was still a bit on the chilly side as we scanned a fairly empty sea, but much flatter than yesterday, getting only a couple of Great Crested Grebes and a few dozen Common Scoters.
We scanned the beach and saw a good number of Oystercatchers towards our southern boundary and with them some Sanderlings were tazzing around on their twinkling-fast legs. We started to count the Sanderlings and soon discovered that all those tiny dots weren't all Sanderlings some were Dunlins (88, 27). We got about 80 of the former and 25 of the latter before a dog walker went right along the tide line and flushed them before we'd finished making an accurate count...why do they always do that???
With nothing to look at on the sand we had another look at the sea and found a very smart drake Eider (89, 28) we'd not seen in the nearby swell when we'd looked only a few minutes earlier.
With nothing else forth coming we called it a morning.
At lunchtime the tide was well up and the bright sun reflecting on the water to the south made viewing that way decidedly dodgy on the old retinas so we had to concentrate on looking northwards. A few more Cormorants were seen but nowhere near the impressive numbers seen recently. The same Common Scoters were to-ing and fro-ing in the middle distance and then spied something a lot whiter. It came from the north and as it drew parallel to us in the middle to far distance and swung away from us out to sea we saw that it was a female or immature Long Tailed Duck (P2 #29)...always a good bird to find on the patch!
Nothing else happened, the swell being too big for effective cetacean spotting.
Where to next? More of the same but will the gentle offshore winds have knocked down the swell enough to be able to spot any Harbour Porpoises?
In the meantime let us know who's doing all the flushing in your outback.