Tuesday, 29 January 2013

No excitement in, on or over the waves

The Safari was a little disappointed after yesterday’s gull-fest we could hardly wait to get to the wall this morning. A soon as it was light enough we grabbed the scope and made the 100 yard dash to the wall. No need to have rushed. The stiff breeze we’d driven to work in an hour earlier had dropped significantly and a mist had come down severely hampering visibility over the sea. Drat drat and double drat...no chance of any Fulmars today.
We had to content ourselves with checking the beach – well you never know if a Bar Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover or other exotica might just be have a rest on our hallowed sands.
Needless to say they weren’t! There were, however, a more than normal number of Sanderlings so in the absence of anything else to look at we set about counting them and reached a reasonable 158 before they were flushed by something unseen, certainly nothing hominid or canine was out there and we didn’t notice any birds of prey but they all scattered  pretty sharpish. Many of them flew up the beach into runnels out of our line of sight so we had to make do with the 158 we got to and put a ‘+’ for a totally unknown number of others.
Not too many Oystercatchers remained uncounted as they poked around the receding tide which was leaving plenty of goodies on the strand lines for them to rummage through – but where were the gulls? Hardly a one about and the huge numbers that sat on the sand banks to the north of our viewing point last winter have been seriously noticeable by their absence this winter. So we’re not getting any opportunities to have a butcher’s for any odd-balls likeargentatus’ Herring Gulls and Yellow Legged Gulls. Absence makes the heart grow paranoid!!!
Rain stopped play at lunchtime :-(
Yesterday our boss brought in an impressive shell his daughter had found on the beach just over our southern boundary at the weekend. A real whopper of a Native Oyster.

It was really thick and chunky, forcing the scales down to 175 grammes. Qustion is where did it come from? Is it truly native and died offshore fairly reccently? Was it harvested by a local trawler and eaten then dumped? Was it trawled from much further afield and dumped locally? Has it been washed down the river, or a different river from somewhere inland? How long has it been floating around in the sea - the fragile frilly bits are slightly worn but some are still quite sharp. was it dumped from a passing freighter coming in to Liverpool from who knows where on earth...Questions, questions, questions.
Here's another pic from our green-laning trip on Sunday
And the angel of the Ford came down and said unto us "tha'll nay be crossin the river ere t'day me boys"
There is supposed to be a gravel island in the middle of the river which marks a bend in the ford - it's somewhere under the rough water bottom centre. The guide books say don't attempt to cross if you can't see the island.
Where to next? Better seaward visibility please...
In the meantime let us know what's causing all the mystery in your outback

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