Wednesday, 30 April 2014

One good tern didn't deserve that

The Safari's day started quite badly-ish, picked up a little then ended in near catastrophe!
Yesterday was a misty wash out which was infuriating in more ways than one, the mist was low over the sea making visibility absolutely awful but wasn't very deep as above us the sky was crystal clear - a right old sea-fret. Added to that we were tied to the desk as news of a Cuckoo then an Avocet at the nature reserve broke. It's a long time since we've seen a Cuckoo there which is very sad since they have 'nested' there in the not too dim and distant past using a pair of Sedge Warblers as host. The nest wasn't far from the path and very conspicuous when the youngster was large, it was so obvious and called so loudly that any other birds passing nearby with food for their own broods diverted course and fed the ravenous monster.
And we need Avocet for our nature reserve life list - cruel!
The mist gave bright but not direct lighting conditions so we had a go at some arty Daisy and Dandelion pics on the back field ewhich is looking a picture at the moment.
This morning we were greeted by our little friends outside the office window.
Over on Patch 2 the mist was once again atrocious and we could barely see the sea across the low tide beach. On the sands there were a few gulls and a slightly larger, >100, Oystercatchers but nothing that does a lovely seven whistle trill.
At lunchtime the tide was in but so was the mist making visibility very poor still. A few scans didn't produce anything until we found a bull Grey Seal just about on the limit of vision. While watching him bobbing around on the gentle swell a small dispersed flock of eight Common Terns (146, P2 #57) waltzed leisurely past.
On our way back in to the office we spotted something unusual with the front lawn.
What's with the line of Daisies and why aren't there any to the left of it up to the hedge but a sort of normal scatter to the right of the dense line. The concrete ring is just a pad with a ring to which our wind turbines down for maintenance and isn't connected to anything. But there is a definite line of Daisies about two feet wide running the length of the garden, you can see it can't you?
No sign of the Avocet today so we didn't call in on the way home, the Garganeys are still there though which is very hopeful. A couple of Little Ringed Plovers are seen from time to time on the nearby flood, same ones or different pairs dropping in??? We might have to have a bash at them on the way to work tomorrow morning.
This evening all was normal at Base Camp, we had a shuffy round the garden at the flowers blooming in the tubs and all was good, no watering required after rain overnight and this morning. we took Frank out and he had a good half hour's sniffathon but when we got back there was a unusual sound of running water, not at all like the waterfall at the top of the pond, looking out of the kitchen window we saw water gushing from under the garage door -- something had gone horribly wrong with the pond filter! In the half an hour since we last looked the return pipe had become blocked with newly grown scummy stuff and blocked up making it overflow the sides as the pump dumped half the pond into the garden, about 550 litres in all. So much for trying to conserve water! Good job it happened when it did and not while we were at work or overnight as the fish would have had to evolve very quickly!
Where to next? We're on the beach with a school group in the morning but doing rocks and soils rather than anything to do with biodiversity but we'll have the camera and there's bound to something wildlifey to catch the children's eye.

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