Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A rare day out

The Safari didn't get out again yesterday morning but there was a bit of interest on the work's back field in the form of several Herring Gulls of varying ages and an adult Lesser Black Backed Gull poking around picking up worms after last night's torrential downpours.
But at lunchtime we were out and the first birds we saw were two Gannet (P2 #46) going south. Unfortunately we couldn't add anything more other than gulls.
Later we had a meeting at the zoo about an event they are going to be doing in a month or so. We had a walk round with LS looking at likely spots to investigate on the day...we really liked the look of the Iberian  Wolves apparently they don't howl - has anyone heard them do this in the wild in the Spanish mountains?...and they have now been recorded not far from Madrid, just how long will it be before they are found in the woods around the M25??? don't hold your breath!
This was more interesting then the nearby Wolves, a Silver Birch tree with a load of hibernating Garden Snails band a couple of Birch Polypore fungi bursting out of it.

We continued round having a look at likely bits of habitat and found our first Toad of the year and basking singles of Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.
Going to be a good day provided the Bank Holiday weather jinx holds off.
In the somewhat surreal Dinosaur zone there is a large lake with large Koi Carp in it which the visitors seemed to prefer to the plastic dinos.
There was Heron fishing on the bank but then it strode deep in to the water, it wasn't going to go for the massive fish was it - eyes bigger than its belly? swam into deep water near to where the punters were throwing bread put its head into the murky water and a minute later came up with a small Rudd right under the bread-throwers noses.
It came back for a second go and this time noticed the eyes on the small boy's frog wellies and was rather too interested for a few seconds, shame it didn't go for the wellies, that would have been worth seeing!
This is bizarre behaviour from the Heron as it's one from the colony in the park a few hundred yards away as in the park they are extremely wary and won't let bread throwing public anywhere near them.
Today we were out early on Patch 2 for a change and again a Gannet was the first bird seen. A pair of Eiders flew past and we also had a grand total of five individual  Common Scoters.
This arvo we had a couple of families out on our beach event. It didn't take long for the youngsters to get the first shells into the tubs and trays. Loads of good stuff was found.
Nice Thornback Ray mermaid's purse in there alongside the bits from three species of crabs, including male and female Masked Crabs and assorted shell fragments.
Razor Shells are always popular but we reckon ours was the longest - honest!!!
Lots of Moon Shells and their egg ribbons were also found but we couldn't find them any Starfish for them, we'd seen some being taken by the gulls as the tide dropped.
One thing we didn't get a chance to photograph was the Red Whelk the young girl in the group found, we don't see those too often -  a really good find! And we did find one of the mums the Beadlet Anemones she wanted to see, being high and dry they were all closed up blobs of purple jelly.
Really great to get down on the beach for a good old rummage around and have some fun again.
Where to next? There's gotta be a Sandwich Tern and or a Swallow with our name on it tomorrow...hasn't there???
In the meantime let us know who's got the biggest shell in your outback.

1 comment:

cliff said...

Dave - the sequence of Heron photos are extraordinary, I'd seen the one shot you put on twitter & assumed the plastic dinosaur was looking at a plastic heron, it's unbelievable how close the heron has got to the onlookers. It must have sussed out its fishing technique & knows the fish are going to be where the bread is being thrown in - but why don't they do likewise at the park, very odd.