Friday, 5 April 2013

A return to former haunts

The Safari sort of predicted an Osprey today and blow us down didn't one cross the river from the South-side, the bad news is we'd already been in the office for a good half our after a very poor Patch 2 watch...dooohhhhhh.
We didn't get a morning session in as we had to take Wifey's car in for its annual MoT; always a scary time! We took the tram down the Prom hoping to catch a Wheatear or Ring Ouzel on the grass areas - neither were seen. R'ouzel Puddle has been re-grassed and although still a bit bald is not the inviting muddy morass it was :-(
The lunchtime session gave us about 1000 distant Common Scoters which were difficult to count in the chop and swell. A pair of Eiders flew northwards and while watching those we found a more distant Red Throated Diver doing the same, and while watching that we saw a couple of bouncy things, Meadow Pipits
A Sandwich Tern cruising the water's edge was the last entry in the notebook before the cold wind took its toll and we gave up.
The return tram journey didn't give us any Wheatears or Ring Ouzels either but we did see a real rarity - our hand surgeon was walking his dogs and came over for a chat...never seen him out of his operation greens before - hardly recognised him at first.
Once on the tram we did see three Pied Wagtails, two hunkered down in the tufty grass that was the first R'Ouzel Puddle. Another was seen once we got off the tram on the seawall and a fifth was on the grass by the hotel on the walk up to the garage. That grassland could be really good if  it wasn't over-mown and allowed to flower a bit - might have to drop them a line next week. all the Piedy Wags were males.
Back home a miracle happened - Frank dragged us to Patch 1...almost forgotten what it looks like and it looked ravaged after the long cold winter. There is no sign of spring, the grass is parched and almost totally un-green, the shrubs have no enlarged buds, everything looks shut down still. Only a couple of Dunnocks and Blackbirds were seen, A Great Tit called and a Greenfinch sang, other than those it was just Magpies and Woodpigeon. No Frog spawn was found in the little pond...and the amount of litter...all very dreary!
Where to next? Seriously hoping for some sun tomorrow as we've arranged a bit of a reptile jaunt...could be good or could be a ridiculously big mistake and our Extreme Photographer has got his rinky-dink super-duper new lens to try out.
In the meantime let us know if there is any hint of spring in your outback yet.
For anyone not into reptiles and based on the Wirral or nearby there is a Cetacean Watch at New Brighton tomorrow morning - details here

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