Thursday, 28 November 2013

Knew we shoulda stuck it out longer

The Safari arrived at work far too early this morning – it was still dark! We had to wait a while before it was light enough to venture out on to Patch 2.
The bags of rubbish from the beach clean yesterday hadn’t been collected and proved there was a bit more than we thought including the rusty remains of a Barnacle encrusted motorbike, don’t recall seeing that before but it can hardly have floated in recently!

The sea was like a mirror with just a little swell and with the good early morning light over our shoulder viewing conditions were about as good as they get. Due to the late start we didn’t have much time but soon found at least 25 Great Crested Grebes and what appeared to be a smaller grebe just beyond our telescope’s range of resolution. Common Scoters were everywhere as they always are when the sea is calm enough to see them. 
Four Red Throated Divers made their way on to the page and we found the nose of a distant Grey Seal about half way to the horizon.
By lunchtime the wind had picked up and the sea was a little choppy. Now spotting the scoters was trickier and we found far few Great Crested Grebes. The Grey Seal however had drifted much closer. A check through the few gulls on the beach gave us nothing unusual other than there the proportion of Black Headed Gulls was higher than expected, none bore any of KB’s bling though.  
Once we were back in the office we had a look at the bird club’s website only to find that if we’d stayed out a little longer this morning we may well have seen a couple of Harbour Porpoises and a Velvet Scoter...dohhhh that hurts!
Then we got an email...we really get upset by the level of general ignorance from passers-by when they tell us they've seen Sea-lions when really they've seen seals unless they've been to the zoo - why is so difficult for them? But hey it really does look like a number of Sea-lions have been seen today...cameras never lie do they!
After work we joined CR at the Starling roost again for a little while. Mid afternoon it looked as though we'd get a sunset backdrop to the action but thick cloud rolled over the horizon and it wasn't to be.
With the tide still on the rise  but when sand is exposed the Starlings like to drop down on to the beach. Why??? There can't be anything for them to eat down there and if there was it would perhaps be too salty to be good for them.
They lift up at regular intervals have another swirl around before dropping back down - having a rest???
All the while more flocks were coming in from feeding in the fields out east over our heads - here's a small part of one such flock.
How many do you reckon are in the pic - we haven't counted them
They did throw a few shapes but nothing spectacular - needed a predator really to bunch them up more.
With it being quite dark tonight they went in to roost quite early and we turned the cameras off, put the lens caps on and started walking back to our cars - it was then a male Peregrine flew over our heads...perfect timing NOT!
Where to next? More Patch 2 in the morning might be a bit windier than today.
In the meantime let us know who's lazing around on the sands in your outback.

1 comment:

cliff said...

The Common Scooter in the first shot is a good find.