The Safari got a total of 4 Buzzards v a single Kestrel on our motorway trip. Nothing else other than lots of Pheasants and lots and lots of Woodpigeons. The Lesser Scaup had relocated a dozen miles of so further east overnight and was 'out of range although we didn't learn about the movement until very late in the day anyway.
Once back at Base Camp after our family day out we went to the nature reserve to see if we could fin the Short Eared Owl that's been hanging around there for a couple of days - we've not had a lot of luck with this species so far this year!
The reserve didn't give us much but we were there only about an hour and at least half that was spent chatting to other birders on the walk to the gate. A very quick glance at the NE scrub gave us just one of the Long Eared Owls but we really didn't look too hard. At the embankment we hung around for as long as we dared but didn't get the Short Eared Owl only seeing a pair of Kestrels on the barn and a flock of about 65 Fieldfares heading NW at dusk.
Earlier in the day we'd been told of a gang of scrotes with dogs going through the reedbed and trying to get on to the island. Not good! When we were there the wet fields Extension to the reserve was inundated by a gaggle of youths off the neighbouring houses that should never have been built and then another youth was seen in front of the Fylde Bird Club hide and disappearing behind the reeds and into the woods - looking for somewhere to camp? Total nightmare and the silly-season is still a fortnight away...could be a long long summer. PL showed us a pic he'd just taken of an 'office' scene in the scrub, bizarrely there's a few swivel office chairs and a cabinet that someone (or more likely more than one someone) has been using for things amounting to up-to-no-good.
All this on top of a fair bit of environmental bad news about bees and neonicotinoid pesticides, not the best reforms of the CAP and vested interests trying to sneak barbaric Fox hunting back in through the vilifying of this almost innocuous animal. Around the world money is speaking far louder than Elephants, Rhinoceroses, Dolphins, Tigers and many more species with only slight victories for a handful of shark species and Manta Rays. Maybe the sea-level needs to rise about a foot or more in a matter of days and this spring's Oil Seed Rape crop totally fails for lack of pollinators only something as dramatic as those will make the 'establishment' sit up and take notice.
Not feeling very environmentally positive at the moment, hopefully tomorrow's jaunt with our mates will provide some light relief and put us in a better frame of mind....but if the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker doesn't show reach for your flak jacket and hard hat.
Where to next? More from Moore this time tomorrow?
in the meantime let us know some positive news from your outback.