Friday, 26 April 2013

The ton is up but not with a self found

The Safari started the day with two males and a female Eider going north well out on Patch 2. A couple of Manx Shearwaters went south and a bout ten Sandwich Terns fished in the distance, the early morning sun glinting of the small fish they were catching even though they were well over a mile out!
The wind was brisk today and the waves were high making seeing anything on the sea awkward but we did find a nice summer plumaged Red Throated Diver fairly close in, same one as the last two days?
Half a dozen Sanderlings sped by low over the water and a couple of Gannets cruised past not too far out. Three Common Scoters were being bounced around on the choppy waves.
Not as exciting as the recently but not bad for ten minutes. 
At lunchtime the wind had strengthened and cooled and the tide was being whipped over the wall in places but luckily not in our watching place. It was a different kettle of fish altogether and there must have been some fish out there. Manx Shearwaters arced through the troughs and cavorted with the waves in good numbers, at least 50 with more found on the water. At least 25 Kittiwakes were out there too. Ignoring the melee and heading south were three adult and two 1st summer Little Gulls, we always enjoy these pico-larids.
A pair of Red Breasted Mergansers flew north in the distance and beyond them in the haze there were a few Gannets dipping up and down on the horizon, a 1st summer Gannet eclipsed them by being so close as not to fit comfortably in our field of view!
A very enjoyable watch and one we could have stayed out for a lot longer enjoying the feeding scene with the Manxies and Kittiwakes swirling around.
Next it was off to our ever hopeful site to check refugia and listen for 'plops'. No Grass Snakes, no Great Crested Newts and no Water Voles...come on guys where are you? In fact there wasn't much of anything in the now chilly conditions; a Red Tailed Bumble Bee, a Small Tortoiseshell, a couple of Blackbirds and just two Frogs that's all...disappointing but given the conditions not altogether unexpected, a warbler of some species or other would have been nice...or a chat!
Earlier in the day we'd been told of a pair of Pied Flycatchers at the nature reserve and hoped they'd stick around until we'd got back to Base Camp and taken Frank out. New came in that the male hadn't been seen since the first sighting...not good. 
A txt confirmed the female was still there but not showing particularly well or often...oohh err. Off we went and soon after parking up heard a Whitethroat and then a distant Grasshopper Warbler.
At the prescribed place a Cetti's Warbler sang loudly moments after a visiting birder who'd never heard one had to meet his family.
Then a flit was seen and the female Pied Flycatcher (153, MMLNR #100) came in to view but frustrating stayed on the edge of cover and although was obviously enjoying the last rays of sunshine, shelter from the biting wind and consequent insect activity.
As we turned to leave a Swift wafted overhead.
Where to next? Might try to get out there earlyish tomorrow morning.
In the meantime let us know if the ton's up in your outback.

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