Patch 2 had a spectacular passage of Cormorants, nearly 200 counted going out and about 75 coming back in. Add to those a close Red Throated Diver and eight Great Crested Grebes coming and going and it was looking like a half decent session. Which got a little more interesting when a nice drake Eider flew by.OK so nothing over exciting but not a bad way to start the day.
Mid-morning we had to go down to the front desk where the big printer is located. On the way back down the corridor to the office we spotted someone way across the green chucking some bread at the Feral Pigeons. Within seconds a small mob of Black Headed Gulls was on the scene.
But our eagle eyes saw that one of them wasn't a Black Head it was an adult Mediterranean Gull (96, P2 #33) - Get in ! Result!! The rule about running in works time (an in the corridors) went right out the window we sped down the corridor burst in to the office and literally ripped the camera from its bag. Running back down the corridor and outside we tried to best guess the settings needed.
Disaster we couldn't see our quarry...it was there just obscured in the melee until it emerged from the scrum with a hefty cob of bread and headed off. We swung round desperately trying to follow it in the viewfinder and fired off a burst of shots...got it...just!
After a quick sandwich we set off for the wall again at lunchtime and immediately saw two big Sea Slaters. It was cold, only a fraction above freezing and snow was in the air, what on earth were they doing out? We picked them up to put them safe out of size 9's way but they refused to accept the favour and sped off on their own secret mission moving far faster then we would have thought possible.
At the wall something made us look north on thee beach where we saw a large number of small gulls roosting in a pool. Putting the scope on them it didn't take long to find the Mediterranean Gull amongst them, the running rule was broken again as we sped back in to the office for the camera and long lens...we fiddled with the latter...the expression 'more haste less speed' was ringing in our ears.
Back on the beach a dog walker was horrendously close to the flock but fortunately they didn't flush and that gave us an indication of how close we would be able to get. So we followed in his footsteps, walked past the bird and turned surreptitiously towards it in a low crouch...it didn't bat an eyelid.
It's a bit fuzzy as we couldn't get a high enough shutter speed on full zoom in the poor light. We noted it only had one leg and within a few minutes Young Un AB txtd to say he was watching another a few miles up the coast - nice. His was deffo different as although ours by then had flown on quizzing him his had a full compliment of legs. Ours wasn't the one legged bird from Crosby on the South-side either as it didn't have a ring. It could be the one legged bird from the local park a few miles to the south.
The rest of the afternoon was spent with a volunteer and his grand-daughter on the inaugural South Beach beach clean for the LOVE my BEACH Fylde Beach Care project - next one in a month's time. We collected far more shells for the little girl than we did litter, good to see the beach was exceptionally clean.
Where to next? Back to Africa with the BBC.
In the meantime let us know who's got all the legs in your outback.