Thursday, 25 April 2013

Patch 2 Mega!

The Safari is enjoying a real purple patch at the moment, we just seem to be stumbling across good birds - how long can it last?
The day started pretty well with the male Peregrine on the tower, it was there briefly last night but must have returned. It has a primary missing on one wing so should be easily recognised if seen anywhere else locally.
We had to drop Wifey's car off at the garage and taking it there saw the beautiful patch of Lesser Celandine near the railway bridge on the way. After leaving it at the garage we were walking down to the tram when spotted a small patch of Sweet Vernal Grass flower spikes. Spring is starting to get going at last.
Patch 2 gave us perfect viewing conditions, a grey sky, no wind giving a flat calm sea and a comfotable temperature. Shame we were late in to work and could only give it a few minutes...but they turned out to be a good few minutes. 
Two Razorbills were first in the notebook, sitting together not too far out, then a Guillemot was found, later we'd find another three. 12 Golden Plovers flew south, just about the only birds in the air today. The only other waas a male Eider also going south.
Away in the distance we were looking at a small flock of Common Scoters bobbing about on the very light swell when a Harbour Porpoise rolled a few hundred yards beyond them. It didn't stick around long, we only saw it three times, and while scanning we found a Grey Seal.
The scoter flock numbered nine and as we scanned past them we came across a Red Throated Diver but nearby was a dark bird we didn't get on properly before it dived. We kept the scope on the spot and after what seemed like an age a Black Guillemot (153, P2 #59) popped in to bob on full summer plumage too...result!!! A really scarce bird here, far rarer than the porpoises! We've only seen one winter plumaged one from here before - well happy!!!
Three Sandwich Terns finshed the entries in the notebook.
By lunchtime the weather had turned for the worst and it was raining heavily. We had checked the garden briefly for falling passerines but none were found - where's our Redstart or Whinchat, they're everywhere else.
Over on the sea all we could find in the now very poor visibility was a pair of Sandwich Terns the male of which courtship the female whilst she was sat on the sea...and that was it - poor after the heaven of the morning watch.
Dropping Wifey off at work and picking her up at close of play gave us two new species on our North Blackpool Pond Trail list, nothing special but Willow Warbler (53) and Swallow (54) needed to be added sooner rather than later.
All the excitement of today was sadly tempered by the our return to Base Camp past the Lesser Celandine which had been mowed off - soooo disappointing especially as we're desperately trying to get the powers that be to understand that we need bees and butterflies and they need the wildflowers!
Where to next? Can we keep up our run of unbelievable success? A check of the snake zone tomorrow, a Great Crested Newt would be a good find, a Water Vole would have us in raptures but if we actually found a Grass Snake you'll be able to hear the squeals of joy down at Maroo! Wonder if Aussie Glen has had any more sightings of the Numbat he saw last week, his first on his home turf.
In the meantime let us know how purple the patch is in your outback.


Warren Baker said...

Those Grass snakes will be hard to come by now the weather has changed again davyman. It was 23C here on Thursday, now its 12C. what a contrast!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hopefully they'll be asleep with the great crested newts under the refugia we've placed around the site.