Wednesday, 3 December 2014

A frosty start

The Safari had to scrape the windscreen of the Land Rover this morning; the frosty (-3°C) start to the day was the coldest morning locally since 7th April 2013 (-4°C)!
Fortunately there was no wind so it didn’t feel as cold as yesterday over on Patch 2.
No chop today but a deep swell made viewing awkward as things disappeared in the troughs. Anything beyond mid-range was lost in an abominable haze too. We found everything in threes today, three widely scattered Great Crested Grebes, three Red Throated Divers, two together flying south and a single flying north and three Eiders, two males and a female flying south together. Weird wobbly shapes on the horizon were, black, Cormorants and, white, large gulls, numerous black dots going this way and that were Common Scoters.
That was about the sum total of our visit.
At lunchtime we took an extended break in the warm(ish) sunshine to go and see the local Great Grey Shrike. Arriving on site PT and MMcG had their cameras set up pointing at the shrubbery but told us we should have been there a few minutes ago...dohh just our luck. Still we stayed and chatted in the expectation it would reappear before too long, especially as the Kestrel that they said had been giving it grief flew off and away over our heads.
We stayed well past our allotted time but the shrike was a no-show, in fact we saw very little other than another Kestrel, possibly why the shrike continued to keep its head down, a distant Magpie, a Robin and we heard a Wren which would be wise to keep well out of sight as the shrike has been reported catching Wrens of the last couple of weeks.
So back to work we went, thankful for an hour in the sun with the lads but a little glum we’d not seen our quarry. 
Back in the office exciting, but somewhat depressing at the same time, wildlife local news flooded in of two Harbour Porpoises at the north end of town, would we have seen any if we’d done our normal lunchtime Patch 2 visit and a local mega, a Shore Lark right at the top end of our coast, how many of those haven’t there been in recent years round this way? Could we have gone north instead of south? Well not really, it’s a bit far all the way up there and back for a lunch break. Let’s hope it travels south a short distance overnight and ends up on the strandline to the south of us for tomorrow lunchtime.
With not seeing the shrike we had no pics and had to have a hunt round for our #100moredaysofnature pic today. We found it in the form of a Borage leaf catching the low late afternoon sun.
Where to next? Back to Patch 2 and probably not much further tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know who snuck off out of your outback just before you arrived.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

A Shrike and sunshine ! Not much chance of either here, god its so gloomy!! :-)