The Safari drove to work looking longingly at the sea...conditions could only be described as ‘mint’
There was barely a ripple and there didn’t seem to be any haze or shimmer, it looked almost inviting enough to go for a swim it was that good! Maybe later in the year when it’s warmed up a bit...
We were somewhat saddened to note that although our eyes should have been on the road ahead we were the only person looking at the sea in such good conditions and then realised it’s probably a good job we don’t walk to work like those others as there’s be days like today when we’d never get there!
Also saddened and shamed by the Human Race because the whole length of the prom looked like a Litter Bomb had gone off...why can't they use the bins or better still take their cr*p home and recycle it instead of leaving irt all over the floor here - the sea was full of litter too washed off the beach on the earlier tide - dirty dirty numpties the lot of them!
It didn’t take long for us to get outside on the wall and as soon as we peered down the eyepiece of the scope we hit on a Harbour Porpoise – result! Better there was a Grey Seal about half way towards us too.
A Red Throated Diver flew by beyond the porpoise and it was then we realised it was doing something we’ve never seen one do before, it was just floating at the surface ‘logging’ for about a minute before starting another sequence of dives – brilliant but unfortunately far too far away for effective digiscoping with the phone. It dived once more and that was the last we saw of it.
Scanning round we soon picked up another two Grey Seals and three spankingly crisp Razorbills and not far from them a 1st winter bird. A couple of Manx Shearwaters sheared by followed several minutes later by another two. Away in the far distance a tight flock of about 12 Common Scoters hugged the horizon. It was then that we saw there were now two Harbour Porpoises diving and we were able to get one of the regular early morning passers-by on to them. All the time Swallows (P2 #62) were heading north well out to sea, seemed a bit weird to have porpoise, seal and Swallow in view at the same time. Even a couple of Sand Martins (P2 #63) were seen out there.
The porpoises dived for the last time and disappeared so it was back in for a celebratory cuppa.
As ever lunchtime couldn’t come round quickly enough and as soon as our butties had been munched we were off over the road scope in hand a gain.
A bit disappointingly there was now a hazy mist in the middle distance – how annoying was that. We scanned around and found the same three Grey Seals had barely moved all morning but of the Harbour Porpoises there was no sign. There had been however a large influx of Razorbills and there were now at least 20 of them and at least 5 Guillemots too. Further out beyond ID range there were a few dozen more auks. A Kittiwake floated past on effortless wingbeats not too far out.
We were on the point of calling it a day a bit annoyed with the haze when, on the edge of said misty stuff, we saw a big white splash and then another and another with a hint of black. Concentrating hard now we soon saw the culprits a pod of dolphins moving fast northwards. They were ‘porpoising’ in unison leaping clear of the water several times. For a few moments they cruised round in a bit of a circle before moving off to the north again. The combination of the distance and the haze meant we couldn’t be absolutely certain of their ID but given their size relative to the gulls milling around above them we’d hazard a 95% sure guess that they were (Short Beaked) Common Dolphins, not only a Patch 2 Lifer but a whole world Lifer in fact – oh happy happy days :-) :-) :-)
We watched until they vanished in to the haze and txtd SD so as he could hopefully get on them from his watch-point well to the north of us with his far superior scope but he txtd back to say he’d just come in from his watch...bummer!
Where to next? Can Patch 2 do a repeat performance?
in the meantime let us know what's porpoising in your outback.