The Safari had no chance of getting out early today and the conditions looked good enough to eat! Fortunately we did get out at lunchtime. We'd already decided to get down on to the beach rather than getting the scope out for a usual scan of the sea which by now was almost like a mirror on the low tide. It took a lot of will power not to get the scope out and to put the wellies on instead but put the wellies on we did.
It was great to get down on the beach and sheltered from the north easterly breeze by the seawall above us it felt like summer down there.
We're sure we're preaching to the converted here but just in case there are new readers that haven't popped by before then please get out and have a look around you where-ever you are even in the town centres. Give the corporate Chinese tat-fest that is Christmas shopping a miss, instead of looking in look up, look down, look around, look anywhere except at the sh*te designed to relieve you of your hard earned cash. There's a whole world of wildlife to discover even in the most urban areas and it doesn't cost a penny to enjoy, just a little time and a little practice.Out on the beach looking down is order of the day - apart from looking across at the gulls of course!
The tide line wasn't over exciting but there were quite a few Edible Whelk shells in various states of repair. The bright low light made for interesting shadows.
Also interesting and fascinatingly beautiful are the patterns in the sand that the water in the runnels make as they drain away. As someone just said over on F/B there's art everywhere if you care to look
Not so artistic was our next find, a Mermaid's Purse aka egg case from a Lesser Spotted Catshark, this one is empty the baby shark having swum off into the big wide world. Sad to see how much fishing litter there is tangled up with the seaweed that it's attached to. There's far too much plastic out there please don't add to it - use the bins, recycle your waste, better still lobby for less plastic to be necessarily used - if it's not made it won't be thrown away (there's actually no such place as AWAY) in the wrong place.
Our time on the beach was far too short, we'd have found more to keep you entertained if we'd had a few more minutes.
As we were leaving work our Extreme Photographer appear with a camera full of superb Great Grey Shrike pics but he's very critical of them and will be going back tomorrow to get new improved ones providing the light is on his side; the weather forecast looks to be in his favour. While we chatted there was a bit of a sunset starting to happen and we could see it was drawing a crowd of watchers and photographers along the see wall. As our EP left we got a txt from CR saying he was at the pier doing the Starling thing again so as it was on route there was only one thing to do - join him!
Just got the angle slightly wrong on this one should have lifted the camera slightly and not cut off the end of the pier with the lamp post but hey-ho that sky is pretty darn good.
Very few Starlings tonight on both piers, passing Central Pier we saw only about 300 unless they'd already gone in. CR reported that most here at North Pier had already done so and that there were perhaps only 1000 or so. Where are they all - at the nature reserve??? Just as we turned to leave about 500 left the underside of the pier and headed off WNW - to the nature reserve???
So no murmurations but we think the sky just about made up for it - and we probably missed the best of it driving to meet C.
Where to next? A very busy day tomorrow but there should be a do at something at lunchtime - assuming we get a lunch!
In the meantime let us know who's making the patterns in your outback