The Safari is convinced it's now autumn after today's events. It all started very springy with a garden full of very young Blue Tits battling each other to get on the feeders, a replacement late brood or a very unusual second brood?
Patch 2 wasn't bad with three Grey Seals found, the nearest of which was almost close enough for a pic. A few Sandwich Terns fished to our left and others passed by in front of us and we also had a couple of Common Terns. Talking of which we had a pair over Base Camp the other day which were all time Patch 1 number 84 and Garden number 35 for the year. As we turned to leave and go back to the office two Swifts (P2 #62) flew over heading south, we've waited a long time for them on the Patch this 'summer' and we're still missing House Martins for the patch list, they used to nest at the bottom of the road but the area they got their mud from has been developed - no building material, no nest, not good.
Once back behind tthe desk it wasn't long before we learned we'd narrowly missed half a dozen or so Bottlenose Dolphins which had been putting on an acrobat show offshore and included a calf. Word on the 'waves' from the fishermen is that there are a lot of Mackerel about at the moment - which bodes well for all those piscivorous species we like.
Mid-morning we had a meeting and had to show our guests around the gardens. While discussing the intricacies of public veg growing at our raised beds a movement caught our eye in the back of the giant Cardoon plant - a Whitethroat (P2 #63) showed well but briefly before darting southwards to the nearby hedge. Two patch year birds in a day after a veritable drought, things are on the move!
At lunchtime we were out armed with the scope to see if the Bottlenose Dolphins were still about, needless o say they weren't but two of the three Grey Seals were still out there.
More interest was on the beach where we spotted our first juvenile Black Headed Gulls down by the low water mark and a little further away there was a handful of Sandwich Terns roosting on the beach. All very autumnal.
Way out in the shimmery distance we found a horde of gulls attending a stretched out bait 'ball' but they were so far away that it was impossibe to tell if any blubber was with them. While watching (= straining our eyes) a Gannet dived from so high it was above our FoV and must have gone deep as it popped up with some force, leaping from the water when it resurfaced.
An early finish had us looking for the invisible dolphins on the way back to Base Camp but all we could find were gulls including this headless one
Back at Base Camp it was tidy up time in advance of an event at the weekend we can't tell you about - sworn to secrecy for the time being - you'll love it...not a lot as some one used to say.
So there you have it, proof that summer is over and autumn is upon us.
Where to next? Gotta be Patch 2 - Will the dolphins put in another high tide appearance in the morning?
In the meantime let us know what gave you the slip in your outback