The Safari was plagued with a sea fret the morning before last giving very hazy conditions not far beyond the low water's edge. We did find two rafts of Razorbillls with two and three birds and then three Guillemots (130, P2 #43). Further out and deeper into the haze was a large and chunky diver probably a Great Northern Diver but sadly not clinchable in the conditions.
Yesterday the sun shone bright from very early, driving up the hill to work we felt the phone vibrate in our pocket but legally ignored it and then forgot about it and continued through the traffic to work, only to be told by the phoner a little later that he was ringing to let us know there was a Ring Ouzel on the dunes only half a mile beyond work...dohhhhh..it didn't linger long or went into cover so we may or may not have caught up with it anyway. It's a species we didn't see last year.
Another hazy Patch 2 watch gave us our first Sandwich Terns (131, P2 #44) of the year, we heard them before seeing them and must have struck lucky as they moved straight through and we could easily have missed them - where are they all there should be loads by now.
At work we had the office window open during the morning so that we could hear the gulls making a commotion alerting us to any passing raptors - it's like having a free Rare Bird Alert pager! All we heard was the Dunnock singing it's heart out from the bush outside the window. Later at Base Camp we read this by the inspirational young GL and thought hmmm Snowdrops/Dunnocks there must have been at least 50 people in the offices and cafe this morning and I was the only one to be able to recognise the song of the Dunnock well more than that I was probably the only one who actually knew what a Dunnock was - this lack of basic natural history knowledge HAS to change if we're going to stand any chance of protecting the natural environment for future generations, people won't care about anything they haven't a clue about. The total disconnection with the outside world and lack of simple basic natural history knowledge has to be addressed NOW!
Don't get us wrong there are loads of youngsters out there enjoying wildlife, watching, recording, photographing but they aren't the norm and reading the earlier blogs in that #VisionforNature there is still some castigation for the youngster peers for doing so - we remember that well from our own youth many years ago but it shouldn't be so. When we take a class of youngsters out they all have a whale of a time looking, exploring and learning and in general being fascinated so at what age does it all change and why? The next government needs to take this issue very seriously we can't keep trashing the environment - no environment = no us - - simples as the Meerkats say. There needs to be a full curriculum from Reception to GCSE and A-level not just a couple a hours here and there in the summer term in the Primary years...but tthen again they won't teach what the Establishment doesn't want you to know, that'd be too dangerous for them!
Be very careful who you vote for on May 7th you could be voting for the continuation of the destruction of our life support systems! We don't want to governed by yet another bunch biophobic ecocidal maniacs. They'd all do well to remember you can't have infinite economic growth on a finite planet, there's more important things than money and there is no Planet B.
Today we had very important visitors coming over from from the Dark Side (aka Yorkshire) our AFON mentoree and her mum and it was going to be great to see them again. We'd arranged an Easter holiday family bird walk at the nature reserve that they were able to join and had (rashly?) promised all sorts of goodies for AH to see and photograph. We set off just before lunchtime to find the Great Crested Newt we photographed for you the other day but - nightmare - he wasn't there, just a Frog and 14 Toads.
While searching for the mythical beast we did hear a couple of Willow Warblers (132). Lots of butterflies were out, just Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells today.
From there we went to the new visitor centre to wait for the other AH and drop off some bits of kit for her. It was while we were unloading that from the depths of the Land Rover that MMcG phoned, we'd just been chatting to him on the drive in, telling us that an Osprey had just flown over our head! We grabbed the bins and scoured the sky to no avail, a bad PWC dip! goodies delivered we had our lunch in the hide to see all the island works had been completed and the area left spick and span - my does it look good, if a little weird with the digger son there, kinda got used to them being part of the view.
A Heron flapped lazily in mid butty-munch.
A little annoyingly most of our families that were booked on were no-show-ers but that gave us the opportunity to spend more time with young AH. We didn't take many pics on the way round but did hear our first nature reserve Willow Warblers (MMLNR #77) Blackcap (133, MMLNR #78) and saw a Swallow (134, MMLNR #79) in with a few Sand Martins.
As we wandered round seeing the sights and listening to the sounds AH told us of her adventures as a trainee ringer and her local sites and reserves she visits with her family. she was also blasting away with her camera capturing everything that moved.
We were too busy chatting to do much with the camera, here's our only two measly efforts.
|Lesser Black Backed Gull|
|Female Goldeneye - there's been a distinct shortage of males this winter!|
We're not going to tell you anything else as AH has promised to do a guest blog for you all to enjoy. It'll be great to see the reserve through someone else's eyes.
Where to next? Better get away from bashing away at this keyboard and get outside dodge the downpours and find some nature.
In the meantime let us know who's started turning up in your outback.