The Safari mentioned we were struggling to find anything new yesterday and that mention must have put the hex on the struggle because although we got no pics today we have had our moments.
The first came this morning when for some reason or other we had to nip outside fro a couple of minutes and was able to watch a pair of Eristalis Drone Flies mating in mid-air. They whizzed around in tandem before splitting up and going their separate ways for a rest on a nearby leaf and then hooked up again a few seconds later for another tandem fly-past - all very energetic and aerobatic! All the action would have been far too quick for the camera if we had have had it with us.
A lunchtime visit to a rather warm and summery Patch 2 was slightly disappointing in that it was very calm, not quite flat calm but not far off but there was no blubber to be seen anywhere not even a Grey Seal. Other than the rafts of local juvenile gulls there weren't many birds either, just a few very distant white dots purporting to be terns. Then a large duck flew past at speed low over the ripples heading north, female Red Breasted Merganser, not seen one of those for a while so that'll do nicely, thank you.
Mid-afternoon a message came through about a couple of Green Sandpipers on their usual flood so that made up our mind to finish as early as possible and take the long way home. A set of temporary traffic lights held us up for three long changes only half a mile from the site, intensely frustrating and annoying - twitchers are a tetchy lot aren't we!
Anyway we arrived at the site got the scope balanced on our rucksack which itself was balanced on the Land Rover's centre console and saw one of the aforementioned Green Sandpipers (158) immediately. We never did see the second but there's a lot of muddy 'dead ground' it could have been on. The supporting cast was a nice mix of moulting Mallards, a couple of Teal, Moorhens and a Lapwing.
Also in the message was mention of three returning Wheatears on the large Rabbit warren. Again we were one short just finding two of the three. If the Rabbit warren was flat it would look pretty mint to pull down a passing Stone Curlew...if only...
A Buzzard flopped lazily off a fence post and away across the fields giving us a cue to leave too.
Another wait at a different set of traffic lights give a Swift swooping round over the waiting traffic.
Not a bad day all in all. We've a couple of scoring updates from Patch 2 too for recent days starting with two Common Sandpipers (P2 #65) over the beach during one of our rockpooling sessions and then a flock of ten or so Black Tailed Godwits (P2 #66) going south at high tide a few days ago. don't think we're going to reach our year's target of 200 or our Patch 2 target of 90 - well you never know!
So no activity on the catching up year-listing arch-rival Monika front for ages but at least we've started the claw-back, long way to go yet but we do have a cunning plan for a few week's time. 'Fortunately' almost all of her wildlifing time has been taken up getting amazing pics of Orcas rather than adding to her birding year list. No we're not jealous - much!!!
Where to next? The mothy is set up and raring to go and we have a new mothing technique to try too. Tomorrow we may have a bit of a family butterfly adventure weather permitting.
In the meantime let us know if there's been any autumnal movement in your outback.