Sunday, 3 November 2013

We ARE still here

The Safari has been forced off the blogospere for a couple of days by inclement weather and family duties.
We've not had much a chance to get out wildlife-ing other than quick dashes between, or mostly into, torrential showers with Frank.
The sum total of our recent wildlife  experiences are a very brief Grey Seal in the last few minutes of our Blackpool BBC Autumnwatch cetacean watching event which the other tow watchers sadly missed - we did see it honest! Was even likely to have been one of the bachelor boys featured on the programme. The evening the programme did a very interesting piece on the vertical radar tracking of Silver Y moth migration we took Frank out after the show to find a different migrant moth hooching about near the street lights, an Angle Shades, although it could have a equally have been locally born and bred.
Yesterday we took him in very squally weather to Magpie Wood, or rather he took us. On the ledge on the tower we could see the Peregrine. As we rounded the wood we saw it take off and come swooping low over the roof tops and we stood and marveled at the mastery of it's flight, barely a flick of its wings to catch a gust and effortlessly cruise round - it was changing position on the ledge and swooped up to its overnight favourite roosting spot between the comms cables. Master of flight my eye! As it came in to land it either misjudged the distance/speed or was caught by a surprise gust cos it missed the narrow ledge or hit it too hard - we didn't have our bins with us to see what was happening in detail - and if tumbled off bouncing heavily off the wider lower ledge about a metre or more down before composing itself now almost half way down the tower and doing another couple of circuits of the rooftops before making a successful landing where it should have done first time round. Well it made us chuckle a bit!
Last night there was a bit of a serious hooley going on outside, perhaps not quite as bad as down south last weekend but not far off. It was the first time we can remember the Illuminations being turned off early for safety reasons and the first time the Prom had been closed to traffic for nearly 10 years.
Opening the curtains this morning it was a relief to see that the world was still there and hadn't been blown away in the night.
We did hear some concerning news yesterday though. We were told that our neighbour who has the big Sycamore tree in his drive way is thinking of having it cut down...noooooooo. He's already removed all his other trees, the reason we were told is he's fed up of having to blow away leaves with his petrol leaf blower. Of course he's entitled to do what he wants in his garden but it'll seriously isolate Base Camp if he does fell it as it is the biggest tree for several hundred yards and acts as a target for anything flying over that might be thinking about perching up. It's also quite dense and acts as cover to dive in to in an emergency from our feeders - we've a feeling we wont be filling them up as often as we do at the moment and to be honest that's already not very often at all.
If any youngsters are reading this we desperately need more trees, in the uplands, the wider countryside, towns and cities and especially our gardens where we need to tolerate them more and plant the right species in the right locations.
We do have a plan for a wildlife pond at Base Camp which will be a useful addition to our habitats just have to figure out a way of dragging hope what we've found dumped in the Golden Triangle.
Where to next? Right; the sun is shining and we're off out on safari for a much needed wildlife fix - the world will seem a better place once we've raied our bins and peered down our scope at the marvelous wildlife to be found in Safari-land.
In the meantime let us know who's vandalising their (= your) environment in your outback.

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