Monday, 9 December 2013

Little time for safari-ing

The Safari has been out of action for a few days doing all manner of non-wildlifey stuff. We did get out for our Winter Thrushes survey yesterday morning. We'd heard from FW that there'd been an an influx of Fieldfares into his area so we were hopeful. We set off hopefully but that was soon dashed when it took us a fair way in to our route before finding our first Blackbird.
We did eventually did come across a few Blackbirds but the only other thrush was a Song Thrush just after half way along our trail. Just 26 Blackbirds were counted, very poor but possibly a result of the ferocious weather a few days earlier. Other birds of note seen were a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Goldcrest
After we'd past our end point a rather grey Chiffchaff was seen flitting across the path in front of us but we soon lost it in the dense twiggery and it didn't call.
Back at Base Camp another gull commotion suggested a raptor was about and with Frank asking to be taken out it gave us the opportunity to have a look at the tower, sure enough up there was the Peregrine.
A family visit gave us the chance to play Buzzards versus Kestrels again and yet again the Buzzards won, this time 3 - 1. 
This morning dawn somewhat stunningly - what a way to start the working week.
Apologies for the poor quality we had the phone-cam on the wrong settings for sunrises.
We'd received news of a gruesome discovery yesterday and the picture is below - apologies to SD for  nicking it. A young Grey Seal has met with something unpleasant but what?
That cut looks really unnatural and we decided to have a wander along the beach to see if it was still there and have a look at the now eight Snow Buntings.
We did find the seal carcass but it had been rolled round in the sand a bit and now any 'evidence' wasn't evident. The skull has gone but a length of neck vertebrae was still present but meatless. The animal is very young as it still had its umbilical cord attached. What could have done that? A filleting knife to get it out of fishing net, or tangled in rubbish that has become sandy and acted like a saw or something even more sinister, or something entirely natural but don't say shark attack.
We did get some close up pics of it but lucky for you we've managed to leave the camera at work. We did get to see the Snow Buntings too and met a bloke who'd counted nine earlier. We gave it a shot and got eight but he came back while we were chatting to BD who we'd arranged to meet and he told us there were definitely nine! We got a few shots off but this evening we saw BD's pics of them...can't compete with that! Maybe we shoulda got down on our belly eye-level with the little tykes too.
The sunset wasn't too shabby this evening either but didn't last long and didn't give us a chance to stop and have a look at the Starlings more of which were at Central Pier rather than North Pier on the way past.
A bit of good news came in this arvo when we learned that one of our mates had seen an adult with a  downy young peering out of the door on the Barn Owl box on the island at the nature reserve - now that's a reserve first, there's been no suitable infra-structure before but they do regularly nest nearby - Great news!
Where to next? A proper look at Patch 2 is well over due and conditions look good for a sunsetty murmuration on the ay home tomorrow - then's there's still the matter of those dodgy or not so dodgy ducks on the South-side that need our attention...Monika is now three ahead and that's going to take some catching with only three weeks of the year left.
In the meantime let us know what's increasing day by day in your outback.

2 comments:

Mr. President said...

On Sept. 3rd at around noon I discovered a headless, mutilated seal on the beach near my home. The authorities said it was the 2nd one with the exact same injuries in a week on the same beach! The cuts were surgical and the rectum had been cored out and cotterized. I took almost an hour of video and posted it on my YouTube page, if you're interested.

Mr. President said...

On Sept. 3rd at around noon I discovered a headless, mutilated seal on the beach near my home. The authorities said it was the 2nd one with the exact same injuries in a week on the same beach! The cuts were surgical and the rectum had been cored out and cotterized. I took almost an hour of video and posted it on my YouTube page, if you're interested.