Saturday, 2 August 2014

Just how wet can you get?

The Safari looked out of the window when Frank woke up to see the dreaded rain meaning the moth trap would be full of water. Inside there was a reasonable catch and no drowned ones. Nothing totally new and several very worn micros but new for this year was a stunning Phoenix which did a bunk before we could get a pic of its bizarrely cocked tail, shame because it's not quite annual here. Also new for the year was a Square Spot Rustic
Best of the rest were probably the Shuttle Shaped Dart and the Willow Beauty.
Before we went out a quick look at the feeders gave us a ringed adult Goldfinch, not seen that one before but is it one of ours that has picked up a ring visiting somewhere else reccently or a new immegrant from who knows where. Sadly it was so dark that there was absolutely no chance of a pic to see if we could read off any of the code.
Next up was today's National Whale and Dolphin Watch down on Patch 2. We arrived to see the skies darken and just knew we were in for a drenching.
There were a few Sandwich Terns on the beach and pushing southwards as well as some mixed flocks of Dunlin and Redshank, better was a flock of eight Grey Plovers nipping down towards the estuary.
Out on the beach a fisherman caught a decent sized eel-like fish about two feet long, a silvery shiny thing. A Grey Seal hung around close inshore.
It became impossible to watch for blubber as the rain drove in visibility dropped to less than 1000 yards and the horizon vanished in a sodden grey-out.
1pm in August and the light have come on!
We couldn't even see the pontoon rig working on the outfall pipe at one point it was that bad.
After about an hour the weather eased and the view came back, so much so that we could see Wales, that's without the 'H' to the south.
With the improving weather came a massive reduction in bird sightings, we were left with just the gulls and those mostly Lesser Black Backs predominantly heading south. We now had at least three Grey Seals to enjoy but still no cetaceans.
In the distance large flocks of Common Scoters started to move around once the last of the heavy showers had cleared the areas they'd been hunkered down in, if a Common Scoter on the sea can hunker down.
A large dark shape well out had us concentrating hard but it turned into a big raft of seaweed rather than Minke Whale. A couple of chunk dark 'things' had us guessing too but whatever it/they were disappeared and wasn't seen again.
For the last hour the sun came out and so did the punters.
Can't believe it's the same place!
Several people saw the banner and stopped to ask what we were up to - as if the banner didn't explain it! - The number of folks who don't know we have seals is astonishing/embarrassing especially the locals including OAPs who've 'lived here all me life'. They couldn't believe they come so close in either, the astonishment on their faces when we let them look at one through the scope was quite unbelievable surely locals of a certain age can't have walked up and sown the prom for years and not seen one - apparently they have and it would seem most of them too- shameful!
It was three and a half hours before we got to see the 'new' yellow buoy off Central. Lifeboatman DW has sent us some info about it, apparently its a current monitoring station for the bathing water quality improvements and one of several positioned along the coast - interesting stuff, we'll see if we can work out how far offshore it is.
A couple of other interesting sightings from recent days included a nice Scabious seedhead from Wifey's garden, we've collected some of these for young un FW.
Weirder was a dead Dab on the roof at work, dropped by a gull rather than an enormous wave - we hope!
Go on give us a clue, how is someone going to get that down from there?
A bit of a thunderstorm passed close inland of us but by the time we'd got upstairs to watch it it had traveled well north of us and we only got to see one flash of lightning.
Where to next? Mothy will be on again in a bit and it's the last day of National Whale and Dolphin watch tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know who's e got a funny feeling sitting on the ceiling in your outback.


cliff said...

The contrast between the two mirrorball pics is extraordinary, probably not quite as extraordinary as finding a Dab on the roof though.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

No need for mind bending drugs here Cliff, life's weird enough already!