Wednesday, 6 March 2013

No such luck

The Safari left the house as usual with Frank only to see a light mist swirling around in the light from the street lamps on the cold easterly wind. It didn’t bode well for our Patch 2 search later. Driving to work our fears were realised as we could barely see across the beach for low mist and the tops of our popular land marks, the Tower and the Big One could not be seen. Searching for an aquatic needle in a watery haystack wasn’t going to be easy.
Grabbing the scope we got onto the wall forsaking our normal position for one by the more or less useless 'designer' shelters as we tried to glean a bit of shelter in the lee on the nearest one for the tripod – yes the proper-job scope does actually have a tripod!
As we scanned it was evident that we weren’t going to be successful, the light was worse than atrocious, the mist was down over the sea only yards beyond the water’s edge and the few Common Scoters we could see were well out and just indefinable black dots...absolutely no chance of finding our American quarry under those conditions.
Two Razorbills were closer in but we still couldn’t see much detail on them, but that reminded us we forgot to mention the Guillemot we saw out there yesterday.
Nothing of note was on the ever expanding beach.
By the time lunchtime came round we were hoping the mist would have lifted but no such luck if anything it had drifted in with the tide. The scoters had drifted in too but were still far enough out to be shrouded in the mist, only just about able to tell males from females on all but the nearest birds.
A solitary Great Crested Grebe was the only other species seen other than the regular gulls and a couple of fly past Oystercatchers.
Not the best of safaris!
Where to next? Only one shot at the Yankee tomorrow got an out-of-the-office-but-still-indoors event at lunchtime but there may be some news from that part of the world.
In the meantime have you signed the petition to help protect the raptors in your out back. For a description of what it’s all about see here.  Two and half thousand signatures is good but there's a long way to go...let's make this one count!
LATE UPDATE - our friend DW who we met up with yesterday sent us us pics of his Land Rover adventures but also included a couple of pics of a mustelid he'd picked up dead last spring on the side of the road and instead of letting it rot there he picked it up and had it stuffed by a local taxidermist. We weren't sure what exactly what it was so we sent it to the Lancashire Mammal Group who forwarded it to the curator of mammals at Liverpool Museum and the answer came back as a Polecat, not a Ferret/Polecat hybrid...archives are being checked but it could well be the first 'recent' record for Lancashire!

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