Tuesday, 17 February 2015

A couple more patch scarces

The Safari has enjoyed a bit of Patch 2 luck this last couple of days. We've been able to have a look at the beach and sea but there;s not been a lot doing out on the waves, so we've been concentrating on the gulls on the beach. Not a lot to say, there haven't been very many of them. Yesterday we were about to cross back over the road when a Magpie (P2 #33) flew across the back garden at work. We had a smile like the proverbial Cheshire Cat, Magpies aren't quite annual here and if they do appear there's often only one or two records in any particular year. So there you have it a really commonplace species often ignored/overlooked totally out of context.
Mid-morning we had a meeting up town about a potential nature area that needs a good deal of (we hate to say it) 'tidying up' first. On a old manhole cover we saw a covering of moss which was nothing unusual but then growing through the green stuff was a thin line of red stuff. Is it a different species or been peed on by a mutt or growing on a vein of some mineral or other? Questions questions questions, that's the wonder of the natural world there's always something curious or unusual to mull over.
Today we were out again at lunchtime having a look at the gulls again when we noticed one pulling at a dead flatfish. Turned out it was caught on the hook the fish had been caught with and which was still attached to the line buried in the sand. A rescue mission was needed but as we approached we saw we couldn't cross the deep runnel in our office shoes, it really wasn't the sort of day for a paddle either, so we walked a long way round the pool by which time the gull had freed itself and was long gone. We did the right thing and recovered the offending article from the beach, it'll be a little gift for our fishing friends.
Back up on the wall we had a last quick quint at the gulls and promptly found a winter plumaged adult Mediterranean Gull (P2 #34) flying down the beach - what  a beauty! what a great way to end a lunch break.
Where to next? Would be good to make it three patch birds in three days wouldn't it - but will we.
In the meantime let us know who's been pulling on the wrong line in your outback.

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