The Safari had three Mallards (Garden #25) go over Base Camp while out with Frank last night for an other to add to the very slowly growing garden list. A useful addition as they didn't make the garden list in 2011 or 12.
This morning we took a bizarre detour to work and headed north instead of south. We went to the top end of the North Blackpool Pond Trail to the lake and promptly twitched the pair of Gadwall (NBPT #49) there, also getting 10 Teal in the process and not a lot else although time was obviously pressing. One of the ringed Black Headed Gulls was sat out on the grass but again we stood no chance of getting near enough to read the ring...might have to take some bread and the scope one day and hope for the best.
Our detour had the distinct disadvantage of getting us stuck in the morning commute, made all the worse by the infinite number of road works going on at the moment. After a couple of minutes of chewing our back teeth down to the stumps we spotted a Blackbird feeding on the verge. We watched him pull ???from the grass, then a long skinny Earthworm. All the time he was hopping and listening a blob of soil was stick to the end of his Crocus yellow bill. He hopped up to the shrubbery and began to through leaf litter around with gay abandon before coming across another tasty morsel of ??? The blob of soil was still stuck to his lower mandible when the lights changed and we had to move on. We wondered if anyone else had noticed him going about his daily business in the bitter wind while probably getting lungfuls of fumes from the cars.
The next stop was by the park lake and there we saw the huddle of spinning Shovelers assisting each other to bring up plankton and/or algae to within reach of their sieve-like beaks. A Great Crested Grebe cruised by, dived and came up moments later with a tiny sliver of silver - again we wondered if anyone else had noticed these little marvels of the natural world playing out only a few yards from their cosy warm cars and the sounds of Radio Wave/2/5 or whatever...
The next stop had us shocked. A piece of fence has rotted and there is no a gap allowing a short cut onto the field across the wide grass verge. This is one of the many places we got the local school children to plant 1,000,000 Crocus and Daffodil bulbs for the Millennium. Today the Crocuses are still there and doing their best to flower in the bleak sunless conditions when a moron just walked straight over the top of them not looking, well not caring probably, where he put his feet - what a selfish disrespectful attitude and sadly one that seems to be almost all pervasive through society at the moment - if it's in the way of the march of progress just walk all over it...after all 'it' doesn't really do anything does it?
Pulling into the car park at work a dog walker disturbed a Redshank on the back field - the tide was in so it was probably still too hungry to go to roost and thought it might try its luck for some worms.
At Patch 2 we had nothing springy, no sign of that Sandwich Tern we sort of predicted/hoped for yesterday. Just a few hundred Common Scoters on a still choppy but far less so sea. A couple of Great Crested Grebes hung about with them while in the distance we saw two Red Throated Divers going north.
Lunchtime was worse and even colder and to add insult to frostbite we learned after lunch that a Sandwich Tern had indeed been seen this morning, about an hour after we'd had to leave the wall to go back into the office - cruel!
Our spirits were brightened by this piece of art displayed today as part of the Young Seasiders Art Competition - get down for a shuffy over the holidays if you can there's some good stuff to be enjoyed.
|Click to enlarge to read the text|
There is hope for our planet and its wildlife after all - you tell em Yr5 - don't take no nonsense; you know its important to look after our world.
Our euphoria was short lived - on the way home a much more middle-class looking woman than the chavvy bloke earlier took the same route through the Crocuses on her way home standing on several of the increasingly crushed purple flowers - all we could think was you ignorant disrespectful 'common species of domesticated ruminant'!
Where to next? Patch 2 has to change soon - doesn't it?
In the meantime let us know if there's a glimmer of hope in your outback - we truly hope so