Thursday, 27 November 2014

All cloud and no sun makes Thor a dull day

The Safari endured another desperately dismal day of thick low cloud. Our early morning Patch 2 visit was a low tide, the beach was just about devoid of life apart from a few Oystercatchers and Herring Gulls. Two bait diggers working well apart weren’t the reason for the lack of birds,  There’s a serious distinct lack of gulls so far this back end disappointingly few to work through for the more interesting odd ones out. Best of the rest were a Sanderling and a Redshank – hardly earth shattering where are they all?
At sea the visibility was on the lower side of poor and we saw nothing.
By lunchtime the tide was well up but the sea still seemingly quiet. A small mixed group of gulls, Herrings, Black Headeds and a Great Black Backed Gull were showing some interest in something so we stuck with them for a while until a Grey Seal popped up beneath them. It might well have been chomping on a fish at some point by the way the gulls were dipping down to the water to pick bits of the surface
Other than that interest was limited to a Great Crested Grebe, a couple of Red Throated Divers and at least 50 Cormorants most leaving the estuary and heading out to sea.
With nothing close in on the grey and murky sea we needed a quick poke around the works garden to see if w could find a worthy subject for our #100moredaysofnature tweets (Day 27 today). There’s nothing much about at this time of year and with no sign of the sun there wasn’t going to be a basking insect so we looked for flowers. A little bit of success was had when we found one of our clumps of Perennial Cornflower was seen to have a couple of open flowers on it. 
Nice but not quite what we wanted, a native plant would be more up our street. Nearby there were some manky past their best flowers of Scentless Mayweed that might have done at a pinch but we were hopeful we could find better.
A wander across the green gave us just what we were looking for. There amongst the acres of green was a bright fresh new Daisy in flower – that’ll do nicely! 
And proof that even on the dreariest of days there’s always something to see in the natural world if you look hard or long enough.
At going home time we looked out of the office window to see the sun glowing like a blazing ember just above the horizon, it's first appearance all day. With a sunset on the cards we dashed over to Patch 2 camera in hand to witness the spectacle.
Conditions weren't quite right and the clouds weren't for lighting up fiery red like the other evening. 
Driving past Central Pier there was a small murmuration of about 2000 Starlings throwing some half decent shapes nut by the time we'd covered the half mile to North Pier there were only a couple of hundred there - either we'd missed them and they'd all gone in, most hadn't arrived yet or that's all there were, might have some idea when we pass tomorrow morning if we're at the right time to see them leave.
The sunset didn't materialise any further either.
Where to next? More Patch 2 stuff and we're in town at around murmuration time if we've finished in school by then.
In the meantime let us know what bit of summer is still happening in your late autumnal outback

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