Friday, 14 November 2014

Thankfully it turned out better

The Safari was lucky yesterday, we didn't think we'd be able to get our early doors but in the end we were and boy are we glad we did! Nothing much was happening and it was difficult to get an estimate of the Common Scoters due to the heavy chop. A gull acting unusually caught our attention it was well out on its own and appeared to be hovering around a certain point raising up then dropping down nearer the water - it was deffo interested in something. we kept a close eye on it for almost five minutes in which time it barely moved one way or another and then all was revealed when a large dark back with a fairly long dorsal fin broke the surface briefly and promptly disappeared again. Almost definitely a Bottlenose Dolphin but not really enough of a view to clinch the ID sadly. Once it had dived the gull continued doing what it was doing for a few more minutes before moving off to the south and doing the same again and then abandoning its aquatic friend to go which ever way, obviously lost it under the waves.
The rest of the day was spent floating on air after that and in the afternoon we had a school to visit to talk to Yr 5 about bats, which went very well (so we've been told - might be able to get some pics next week).
With being indoors we were always going to struggle for our #100moredaysofnature pic for the day but once back at Base Camp we had to go into the garden and there was our opportunity. The Silver Birch tree at the end of the garden was being thrown around by the stiffening gale. It took a fair few shots to get something like the desired effect we could see in our head. Now we MUST put the camera back to something like normal settings!
This one was not so-close-second - the other fifty or so got deleted!
Today we were once again on opening up duty and on our walk down the corridor to unlock the doors we spotted a purple fungus we're sure wasn't there yesterday.
With heavy rain all morning and dreadfully dull light we had to wait til lunchtime to nip out with the camera but by then the sun was trying to poke through the clouds and it was brightening up quiet nicely. We think it's growing on a Gorse root  (from a plant that should not have been cut down in the first place!) if that helps anyone ID it, fungi aren't are strong point.
The rock is a lump of mudstone from the glacial till, you can see the scratches left by other stones in the glacier and the top right has a chunk broken off - wonder which Lakeland/Pennine fell it is from.
A nip to the store in the rain mid morning was very productive, we spotted a Wren, the second we've seen on site this year and a Song Thrush (P2 #78). As we said, very productive!
A short visit to the sea wall wasn't up to much but it did look good for cetacean spotting. We didn't see any but close in there was a small flock of Common Scoters really close in. So close in in fact that we were able to get a pic with our phone - not it's not digi-scoped this is a phone-'only' pic! And un-zoomed at that!!! Not often they are this close. They were originally sat on the water the males displaying to the single female but flew off as we pulled the camera out of the pocket - almost missed them.
After work we met up with CR at North Pier for a murmuration session. Things bode well as the sunset was lining up nicely as we drove along the Prom. 
There weren't many Starlings in when we arrived, about 2-3000 but flock after flock joined them and in the end we had sort of counted 12000, some of the larger flocks were very much guestimates. We didn't have the proper camera so these are of the phone.
The couple are also watching the spectacle as were about another half dozen people, most filming it too which is great to see.

Looking north, most of the flocks were coming in from slightly right of the little shelter

Never mind 'Strictly' this is the best dance in town!!!

Although we have to admit the best shapes were thrown towards the end when the light was lost. No predators today despite DB reporting that the Peregrine was back on the church in the town centre for the first time in ages. 
(We might have to ask her to do a guest blog about her recent diving expedition to the Maldives  -the Manta Ray pics are beyond awesome)
Late afternoon DB turned up at work with her dogs and we went out to meet her for a quick chat, it was then a Chaffinch flew over us (P2 #79) 
A really great couple of days even if the weather was a bit rough at times.
Where to next? Weekend starts tomorrow and we have a couple of ideas to try out.
In the meantime let us know who;s dancing round your outback.

1 comment:

cliff said...

I enjoyed the Starling roost Dave, might try again tonight if it's looking like a nice sunset.

In flight Common Scoters with a mobile phone - marvellous!

Right, I'm off to have another look for the shrike.