The Safari was on a very windy beach this morning with a set of litter pickers and a bin-bag along with some friends to collect litter off the sands. Despite the very busy weekend with the Illuminations Switch-on thankfully there wasn't too much to collect, probably because of the strong on-shore winds blowing stuff inland rather than off the promenade and onto the beach.
We never like to see the remains of helium balloons washed up - where's the rest of the balloon, not in a turtle's throat we hope, and that string can ensnare all manner of wildlife...and how long does it take to rot down? A danger to marine life for a good few tens of years.
For those who are interested enough in wildlife to chose a wildlife branded sweet it would be better if they hadn't left the wrapper on the beach. Flippin 'Safari' Stawberry too!!!
The quickly rising tide had us watching our back to make sure we didn't get wet feet, also avoiding wet feet were 40 Oystercatchers which went to roost on the roof of the pier when they ran out of sand.
With the session on the beach we weren't able to get a look at Patch 2 which was a shame cause the riding tide being blown by a strong wind looked as if it could have produce something interesting.
By the time lunchtime came round the tide had turned and the wind dropped a bit, we gave it a good few minutes but there was little happening. The few flocks of Common Scoters scattered around were uncountable in the big waves.
We did notice that as the tide dropped off the bottom of the wall and revealed the first strip of sand gulls were coming in at eye-level along the top of the wall. Time to swap the scope for the camera!
We didn't have a lot of luck as by the time we'd got to the office and back the gulls were dropping much lower. We wandered a bit further along the wall and tried again. Still not brilliant but at least we got some sort of result.
We hit the jackpot when we spotted one of the nearer ones float up on the wind carrying a Mussel which we hoped it would drop and follow down to see if was cracked.
But looking at the pics it seems this bird hasn't learned that the best ones aren't already open!
The pics are a little noisy as we chose perhaps one ISO level too many to ensure we got a high enough shutter speed.
Where to next? Wind should drop over night so we may well be on the bike again for one of the last times before we'll have an enforced year away from the saddle (or at least the handlebars; that's the bit we can't hold on to) after our hand operation in a couple of weeks time. The plan/hope is to get Bottlenose Dolphins on the 'seen from the bicycle seat on the way to work' list - now wouldn't that be a thing!
In the meantime let us know what's always kicking around even if the rest isn't coming out to play in your outback.
Oh and you know we're always going on about Grass Snakes, well DS is back in the blogosphere and has captured a superb image of one in his in-law's garden pond - deffo worth a look here