Tuesday, 21 April 2015

At last - can't believe it hasn't happened earlier

The Safari was out as usual on Patch 2 but it was all very quiet, the most interesting sighting by far was of two Linnets (P2 #48) going north, they've gone scarce since some local development has happened and wiped out a massive chunk of their local habitat - miss them pulling Thistle seeds from the wild garden by the office.
By the office we searched in vain at various times through the morning for more Tawny Mining Bees, we did see more bumble bees than we've seen there so far this year with Red Tailed Bumble Bees and Early Bumble Bees being the most numerous. A different species of solitary bee buzzed around and landed on the path briefly but was too flighty for us to creep up on it and get a couple of snaps.
Dandelions and the Borage were by far the favourites although there aren't many other alternatives in flower yet.
Back out on Patch 2 there wasn't much going on again but we did see something we perhaps should have seen there long ago, a Little Egret (P2 #49).
A few Swallows going through were all the rest we could muster.
This afternoon we were teaching in school close to the nature reserve and when the three o'clock bell went we drove round the corner parked up and had another look for the Tawny Mining Bees but again there was no sign.
We didn't have long so walked only as far as raptor hill. On the way we heard and saw the gulls go up three times but we could only find what it was that spooked them once a Buzzard fairly low heading west.
With it being mid afternoon there wasn't much bird song going on so we didn't hear the Whitethroat we would have liked to add to the list. Quickly running out of time we turned and walked back to the Land Rover wit ha couple of birders we'd met. At the top of the wetland path the Cetti's Warbler fired up very loudly, we stopped to see if would show itself like it did the other day a movement caught our eye to our right and then we heard a snatch of scratchy song - a Whitethroat (142, MMLNR #87).
Back at Base Camp we turned the PC on and had a browse through Twitter to see what'd been happening during the afternoon and came across a corking photo of a 2CY Caspian Gull by Tom Lowe that was almost the spitting image of the one we saw on the beach last week, ours was slightly better marked on the mantle, a more defined nape shawl and had a slightly stouter all dark bill. It's never going to be accepted as an 'official' record but this our list, we make the rules and as we were confident enough to submit it as one it's gone on the list (143, P2 #50).
Frank was back at the vets this evening and is now on his last chance saloon pills once these are no longer powerful enough to keep his joint pain at bay it's curtains for the old boy. Hopefully they'll work well and give him a good six months but we're having to prepare ourselves for the worst.
Where to next? Can Patch 2 provide us with even more surprises.
In the meantime let us know who's buzzing around in your outback.

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