The Safari opened the moth trap to success, not a great success but success never-the-less. From the deepest darkest recesses the paint-brush coaxed two each of Hebrew Characters and Common Quakers, our account for the year is belatedly opened.
Wrens, we decided to have a day's twitching.
On the cards was a female Lesser Scaup not too far up the motorway that had been at the site for at least a week, so what were we waiting for...We loaded Frank up and set off into our favourite traffic...jeez it doesn't get any better, one numptie couldn't do more than 35 miles an hour almost caused a crash when joining the motorway, we thought we'd pass him and leave him for dust - no chance he shot off at well over the speed limit - barmy!!!Anyway we called at th site and couldn't find the Lesser Scaup but did find JP...wasn't expecting to see him there...he'd had no luck either.
The pair of us spent another good half hour checking the few Tufted Ducks lurking here and there. Eventually we went our separate ways disappointed but we both resolved to come back later. He went to the nearby reserve which, having Frank with us we couldn't, we went to the point overlooking Morecambe Bay. On the way over he crag we stopped at the little viewpoint over the marsh to have a quick look at the Avocets (158) we knew would be down there. But probably more exciting than the birds was this beautiful Early Purple Orchid right at the start of the path but just far enough back off the pull in not to at risk of being run over by parking cars.
At the point bird-life was restricted to a few Robins and Blackbirds, a Bullfinch peeu'd unseen and a Jay hoped around briefly - where were all the migrants? Looking over the sands we heard the ung ung ung of Shelducks and over 100 Black Tailed Godwits. A familiar sound but out of context had us bemused for a minute or two, a first summer Kittiwake chased a Black Headed Gull round the 'cliff' calling for all it was worth...wasn't expecting one of those!
Even the flowers here weren't as prolific as they should be at this time of the year, just a few Cowslips and Primroses...far too cold to even think about looking for Adders.
Cuckoo Pint is always fun to see.
Frank staggered about but did pretty well considering the old damp conditions but needed plenty of rest towards the end. He enjoyed himself sniffing almost every one of the hundreds of Molehills.
Getting cold we decided to call it quits and move on. We stopped off at the big quarry where there was some Peregrine action unfolding. A Raven had been grounded in a tree and the Peregrines weren't about to let it out! They didn't mind the Jackdaws leaving but if the Raven got to the edge of the branches one of the Peregrines would tazz by with feet outstretched almost touching the twigs to keep it tucked well in and out of the way.
After several minutes it was time for a breather, looks like they've had a few smokos on that high ledge over the last few weeks. Right at the limit of our camera's range.
Back at the Lesser Scaup site it still wasn't to be found. The fisherman nearest to us had a bite and reeled in a sizeable Carp.
The field was full of the joys of spring, lots of sheep with lots of lambs making lots of poo attracting lots of Yellow Dung Flies.
Where to next? Bank Holiday tomorrow so we won't be braving the traffic, just staying local.
In the meantime let us know what Yankees failed to show in your outback.