The Safari almost broke the 20 minute barrier on the bike this morning, 22 seconds over which could explained by faffing around with the stop watch for ten seconds at either end of our ride. A late update again today as it's another balmy evening here in sunny Blackpool, now late evening and it's still 24C - gorgeous, a proper summer at last and we've been on the beach for an hour or more with Wifey and Frank to let him have a cooling swim!
A dash across to Patch 2 to cool off as much as anything wasn't overly productive just a couple of Gannets away in the haze.
We got a call from the front desk about a brown speckly bird stuck in the Exhibition Hall could we come out and deal with it. Turned out to be a juvenile Blackbird enjoying the view from the heights rafters. We ingeniously decided to get a slice of bread from the cafe and break it up but by the time we'd asked the girls fro a slice the bird had dropped down and was staring at the open door. Cautiously we approached and it hopped out none the worse for its look around our new displays - hope it liked them and found them informative.
A txt from Young Un AB told us of a Little Tern that went past not too long after we'd left...what was his expression? 'Grip don't dip' - the absolute swine!!!
At lunchtime we set off scope in hand for Patch 2 once more. Again it was pretty dead just a Common Tern carrying a fish back to base at the docks deep in the estuary. The tide was in and we noticed our first juvenile Black Headed Gulls of the season. They were picking flies out of the bits of seaweed trapped against the seawall by the back-wash.
|Look at this individual's bill it's a little over-long on the upper mandible compared to the one above|
Boy are we glad we did - we got our 'Grip-back' on Young Un AB. We scanned the horizon where absolutely nothing had been happening when we saw a dark shape and a splash a bit bigger than the occasional rolling wave. Concentrating harder we saw the sickle fins and dark backs of two Bottle Nosed Dolphins swimming synchronously. There was at least one more animal with them and perhaps as many as another three! No one was about as we watched them speed southwards. Eventually a family walked by and we called them over for a look, the father got them, he struggled at first looking down the scope but the loud 'YES' suggested he'd seen them! We'll take your Little Tern and raise you 3 Bottle Nosed Dolphins - get in!!! Good advert for the up-coming National Whale and Dolphin Watch.
More wacky wildlife adventure was about to unfurl. One of our colleagues had a Green Veined White butterfly sat on her shoulder and daren't move (thought it was a terrifying moth). we gently gathered it up and took it to our office. The plan was to let it settle on the keyboard of our puter and get the 'shot' but it was still too lively and on release did settle on the keyboard for about a milli-second before heading to the window.
Where to next? More of the same but who knows what is going to come our way - that's the wonder of wildlifing!
In the meantime let us know what turned up out of the blue in your outback