Friday, 10 October 2014

Better than Spurn?

The Safari still can't quite get over the fact 'we were there' on a record  breaking day; in thirty years time, when we're nearly 90, and the Spurn Brent Goose record falls again we'll look at their website and see then note saying the record has stood since 2014 and reminisce that we were there and counted some of those as they came in off the sea and have great memories of a couple of cold wet days sat with LCV in a little wooden hut perched on a low cliff looking out to sea.
All told we had 84 species door to door excluding the 'brown' Fulmar and the 'possible' Richard's Pipit but it could have so easily been touching a hundred with a bit more luck with the weather.
Today a quick early morning look at Patch 2 at low tide didn't give us much at all, the most exciting was possibly three Lesser Black Backed Gulls on the beach with the hundred or so Herring Gulls, that good eh! A handful of Meadow Pipits had passed overhead but the bird of the session came as we turned to go back inside - three Lesser Redpolls came in off the sea only a few feet above us. Not a patch year bird but still a good record here.
Lunchtime came round soon enough and we were out again. It didn't take long for another patch mega to fly through. A really chunky dark barrel bodied diver a Great Northern Diver (172, P2 73) going south, it took a while to find a Red Throated Divers but find one we did sat on the sea in the chop not too far out summer plumaged too! Searching the sea for the diver we came across a Great Crested Grebe too. All the while we could see small flocks of Common Scoters bobbing around and there was a continual stream of flocks going south along the horizon, easily 500 probably many more. Also out there about a mile off shore there was a steady stream of passerines going south, too far to identify but most of them were probably Meadow Pipits, well over 100 and could have been seriously more had we counted them properly. Two Eiders were seen one going south then one going north, same bird perhaps? Another Red Throated Diver flew north in the middle distance. A couple of bouncy things way out weren't flying like the 'pipits' and became three Swallows when they drew nearer , again staying well out at sea rather than coming ashore. The bright sunshine caught two waders illuminating them with dazzling gold, a couple of Golden Plovers, somehow we've forgotten to add them to our year list so that's 173, P2 74 (oops). Three individual unidentified auks went south a way out about five minutes apart and that was all we had time for.
So that was about twenty minutes watching and not a bad return to the joys of Patch 2 after the excitement of the east coast.
This evening there was a cloud moment while we were helping (aka hindering) Wifey prepare dinner, so dropping the stirring spoon we grabbed our camera.

At the pub there was a wildlife charity badge box on the bar and LCV was kind enough to pop a quid in the box and treat us to one, a pertinent one considering our year list challenge.
Which (sub?)species do you reckon Monika - no saddle patch would suggest it's not a Southern Resident.
Where to next? Oooh the weekend, sure there'll be some wildlife looked at somewhere along the line.
In the meantime let us know if your outback was better than expected today.


Warren Baker said...

Love your optimism Davyman, '' In 30 years time when we are 90'' LoL

Monika said...

Hmmm, looks like a Type D Antarctic killer whale to me! :) They have very small eye patches and dark, hard to see saddles