The Safari was unable to much wildlifing yesterday as we had family duties instead. In our parent's garden the sun shone and the butterflies were out in force. Small Tortoiseshells were the most numerous followed by Peacocks and then a few Commas. All very welcome after the seemingly interminable winter even if it has been a mild one.
We met up briefly with IH who had motoring problems and wasn't able to join us for the pecker jaunt. He'd had a good morning close to home with two Barn Owls and a Short Eared Owl on his local patch. As we strolled round the block a couple of Meadow Pipits flew over the roof-tops which are apparently scarce there. Before we'd set off from Base Camp we saw a small flock flying over (Garden #22).
This morning we didn't get much a chance to look at Patch 2 and at first we had a little panic as it was the first time we'd seen, no = zero, Common Scoters but then we found five - phew. Later we found a few more, about 90 all told but still significantly fewer than of late - it was pretty misty though so there could have been more further out.
Talking of Meadow Pipits there were nine grounded on the back lawn when we got back inside, an unusual occurrence, it's very seldom that they come down here, too many dog-walkers and maybe too little habitat to feed them although these looked like they were finding stuff out there.
At lunchtime we took a call from former Ranger LR who was having a reasonable morning at the nature reserve with Sand Martins dropping in all the while. As we were chatting we noticed a small bird sally out of one the small shrubs in the work's garden - it had a sort of Redstarty feel to it although it's a bit early and we didn't see any red. Going outside we saw it do the same again and was able to sneak up slowly on it...only a flippin Tree Sparrow (P2 #46) the first we've had hear since we started on site in 2004 and only rarely seen away from the local farmland hotspots.
Where to next? Day off tomorrow with a couple of target species and locations, doubt we'll be able to top this lunchtime's mega though.In the meantime let us know who put in an unlikely appearance in your outback.