Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Winter bait ball

The Safari wasn't able to get to Patch 2 this morning but waiting for the tram - the Land Rover is in dock - we noticed that the tops of the northern fells had had a dusted with snow overnight. 
Just before dinnertime we got a txt from DC that there was a possible Velvet Scoter on the other side of the wall, rarely has lunch been chomped so quickly. He'd had to go back to work before we could get out to meet him. Look as we might we couldn't find it despite him saying it wasn't too distant. It was choppy put there though.
All was far from lost as a flock of six Shelducks (81; P2 #26) flew past, two more followed close behind while a few minutes later one, probably a different one, flew back the other way a fair distant out.
While watching the Shelducks we realised we hadn't added the Blackbird (P2 #24) or the Dunnocks (P2 #25) we saw at work yesterday to the tally sheet.
Also while watching the Shelducks we spotted a few gulls wheeling around looking interested in something in the distance. They were all Great Black Back Gulls, nine of them to start with but numbers quickly built up. Before long there were over 20 and some Herring Gulls to as well as a couple of Kittiwakes. All this attention caught the eye of a small flock of Cormorants which joined the melee. By now there were nearly 100 gulls and more Cormorants were coming in all the time and a couple of Red Throated Divers were in the mix too - there must have been some serious fish just below the surface but we didn't spot any of the mammals we hoped might be there too.
More scanning of the nearer Common Scoters didn't produce the odd one out but if it's there tomorrow we might catch up with it.
Not a photography sort of a day today.
Where to next? More of the Patch 2 same is all we'll be to do tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know who's milling round what in great numbers in your outback.

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