Monday, 11 November 2013

All washed up

The Safari had a mixed sort of a day today. The weather was poor when we got to Patch 2 with not much visibility at sea. The tide wasn't long dropped off the sea wall and the water's edge held four Bar Tailed Godwits which is a good count for here, but better were two more a little further along. We scanned to our southern boundary and counted 54 Sanderlings to. A few Oystercatchers were about and we couldn't find anything of note in the not so many gulls present. with it being murky out to sea we decide to walk down to the end to see if the receding tide had left yesterday's dead Harbour Porpoise retrievable. It was nowhere to be seen but the wander did pay off as we found another four Bar Tailed Godwits probing around in a muddy shallow that we couldn't see from our earlier vantage point - 10...a site record for us!!!
At lunchtime the world had disappeared in a grey haze of drizzle, the tide was now fully out and we could only just about make out the water's edge across the wide beach. No chance of seeing anything out there so again we took the walk to the end of the wall to see if there was any sign of the Harbour Porpoise on the vast expanse of beach down that way. There wasn't - has someone from the Council collected it and not let us know? Why is it the ones that are fresh enough to send for autopsy always seem to get washed up at the weekend when it's harder to get them collected and stored for collection? So annoying.
Walking the strand line we came across lots of bits of seaweed and far too much plastic and these to beauties. Mermaids purses, the pale thin one from a Lesser Spotted Cat Shark and the square dark one from a Thornback Ray
So now we have some recording to do.
Nothing else caught our attention on the wet walk back to the office.
By going home time the wind had changed and the sky had brightened a little although it was still raining. We opted to risk going down the Prom and were relieved to see about 500 or so Starlings landing on Central Pier, so if that's the subsidiary roost there must be some at North Pier. We weren't wrong! There was quite a decent murmuration going on but it was so dull we could barely see it. Nothing for it but to do a dodgy stop somewhere you shouldn't jump out and grab the camera.
This is only about a third of the flock as they were stretched across the grey horizon. We pressed the video button and started filming tryng to get the whole flock in one fluid left to right and back panning action. It was working well and the flock started to bunch up and throw some shapes when the battery in the camera died so no video for you. We'll try again later in the week.
Where to next? A wet day in the field with a school group, we're going to teach them how to get muddy and enjoy their environment no matter what the weather. Hopefully they'll have some good finds to show you tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know what's not being washed up in your outback.

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