Friday, 12 April 2013

A much better day at last

The Safari drove down the Prom scouring the railings and grassed areas for a Wheatear or, better, a Ring Ouzel - neither were seen! We turned into the work's car park to see a Robin (P2 #52) flit across the tarmac - things were deffo on the move and been grounded as this was the first we've seen here for months, later in the morning it was scuffling with a second.
We shot over the road with the scope and scanned a very misty but flat calm sea. The first birds we saw weren't seabirds but Meadow Pipits, they were everywhere coming "in-off", going north overhead and at all distances well out to sea and into the gloom, we couldn't watch for long but reckon we must have had at least 500 go past. The only thing we heard with them was a Chaffinch! (P2 #53).
Two Sandwich Terns drifted past and a third was found resting on the beach and on the sea just five Common Scoters were found.
So far quite good but not mind-blowing. Then news broke of a Ring Ouzel not far from Base Camp; after our 14 1/4 hour day in the office yesterday we were anticipating a nice early finish and a trip to the nature reserve to get some pics of some ideas we had from the meeting last night, but we could do that on Sunday and go straight to the Ring Ouzel
Our lunchtimne watch over the high tide again gave us Meadow Pipits as the first birds seen. There wasn't much else! We were watching a diver in the distance when we saw a small flock of Common Scoters much nearer. Counting them, 5 - it didn't take long - we saw the unmistakable roll of a Harbour Porpoise - at last! The diver flew beyond it and we still didn't get an ID on it before it disappeared into the mist. An 'alba' Wagtail flew over and we found two Great Crested Grebes on the sea.
We tried some macro work with the phone-cam.
Too narrow DoF and too much hand shake
News now came in of a second Ring Ouzel in the next field to the first! As often as we could we checked the back field at work but the nearest thing to a Ring Ouzel we could find was this rather battered looking Blackbird.

Then calamity happened we were required to stay in the office much later than planned and ended going straight back to Base Camp rather than going twitching.
But after Frank had been taken out we jumped into the Land Rover and headed off. PS was already set up but the bird wasn't showing. Lots of dog walkers were about and we were worried it might have been flushed elsewhere. we went to scan the for the other bird from the corner of the field and had only been there a minute when we got the whistle! The first bird was showing under the edge of the bushes fairly close to where he was stood. We enjoyed a brief but good view in the bins but hurried to get the scope up much nearer. Ring Ouzel (129) in the notebook, only saw one last year and one the year before, they are becoming quite scarce in our region.
A bit of a wait ensued before it hopped out....and great views were had...shame the pics weren't as good.

It was disturbed and flew and we were worried that that would be the last we saw of it.
Thankfully it came back.

Wot a stonker - Well chuffed doesn't cover it! Wish we'd found our own though.
We'd have liked to stay longer but dinner beckoned and that was provided this afternoon in a box delivery of hopefully delicious organic scram - it was delicious, or at least those bits we used today were and we're sure the rest will be too...yum yum and far better for the environment and the animals too.
Where to next? The weather for tomorrow mornings Lizard Walk tomorrow is looking pretty good.
in the meantime let us know if anything is looking like a vicar in your outback
Earlier we read this which may go some way to explain why we can't seem to find a Velvet Scoter in with our multitude of Commons...not good news and PS's comment about sending one to your elected representatives seems like a good idea...maybe we should club together and get a copy for Cameron, Benyon, Patterson and Gove!


Anonymous said...

Good to hear you caught up with the Ouzel, Dave. Nice one.

Warren Baker said...

I'd be well chuffed with any sort of Ring Ouzel photo Daveyman, you should see my one and only effort!!

Well done on yours mate :-)