The Safari wasn't able to get out too much over the weekend due to chores, building works, rain...mostly rain and when we have we’ve not seen enough to warrant putting pen to keyboard, pretty much useless really.
We’ve been at Patch 2 and seen a few Manx Shearwaters and Gannets but our hunt for more skuas has been singularly unsuccessful with nothing at all out of the ordinary found despite the stormy conditions which we expected might have produced as they have at numerous locations up and down the coast but sadly not here. Sorry that was a rather long and tongue tying sentence...
This morning was no different. A very early start with Frank, pre 05.30 only gave us a single very cold Swift shooting through; they still haven’t arrived at their breeding sites near Base Camp.
A later than normal start on Patch 2 saw us staring hopefully at the low tide. A couple of Oystercatchers and half a dozen Sanderlings were on the beach. The tide line held a line of expectant gulls, waiting for Pipefish???
Very little was out to sea, certainly not the skua-fest we would have liked. Just six horrifically distant Gannets, a distant Sandwich Tern and two 'Commic' Terns were all we could muster this morning. Closer in sat a pair of Common Scoters and a male Eider flew past - hardly riveting!
Lunchtime was just as grim perhaps even worse with very little happening, and the wind had dropped considerably.
It took us over half an hour to find a male Eider going the opposite way to the earlier on - the same bird? - three fishing Sandwich Terns, three equally distant as this morning Gannets and a Manx Shearwater with them - even less riveting!
Work’s garden is looking a picture with the dandelions and the daisies in the lawn creating a real riot of colour...no doubt the mowers will be along to get rid of those nasty weeds how dare they grow in grass it’s not natural!
Please let the lawn ‘weeds’ flower, Daisies, Dandelions, Self Heal, Violets, Clovers, Trefoils, Medicks etc etc they are all vitally important to the bees butterflies and moths so don’t over exert yourselves with the mower, chill out relax it’s not the end of the world if there’s wildflowers in your lawn.. No need to have a bowling green if you’re not bowling on it. Just keep the lawn edge neat and remove the cuttings when you do mow...oh and if there’s a dry spell raise the height of the cut which will keep your lawn looking greener. Leave the ‘tidy brigade’ behind – be brave embrace ‘untidy’ and remember untidy doesn’t necessarily mean unmanaged or uncared for but it does mean that wildlife has got some chance of surviving in our gardens which sadly in many cases are becoming more and more wildlife unfriendly with hard landscaping replacing natural features like lawns, flower beds and hedges...our biggest nightmare is the rise in sightings of artificial turf...just how lazy are some people getting? Or is it part of the great dumbing down and people haven’t got the know-how to look after a ‘natural’ garden.
Early afternoon we had a txt to let us know a Spotted Flycatcher was in the big park, unfortunately we could get down there for at least a couple of hours. As soon as we were able we picked up Frank and headed through demonic traffic - how many road works??? - and arrived too late. We met MJ and FW who had been looking for only a few minutes but between us we had no luck...so another one successfully dipped!
Where to next? Day off tomorrow to look after frank while Wifey is away so there might be some safari-ing to be done as long as we finish the jobs we have to do.
In the meantime let us know what's catching flies in your outback.