Saturday, 9 May 2015

A quick spin round in the sunshine

The Safari was only able to get out late today but as the weather in the morning was pretty grotty we were just glad to be able to get out at all.
Frank had a swimming therapy session at lunchtime and it was just before we set off that the cold clouds broke and the sun came out with a corresponding very welcome rise in temperature.
On the way we saw the gulls go up over the Pleasure Beach and then saw a strange pale pigeony thing fly over the car - we weren't driving - hang on that's a falcon! A very pale/leucistic Saker complete with jesses.
Frank enjoys his swimming session but they work him hard.
Once back at Base Camp a tasty egg n cress sandwich was chomped - must be summer if the cress is putting in an appearance - we were able to have a couple of hours at the nature reserve. 
The sun was out after the miserable morning and the birds were singing, including this Sedge Warbler only a few yards beyond the gate off the road.
At least half a dozen Swallows swooped low and fast over the wetland weaving in and out between the taller vegetation, the sun on their backs made that blue colour look fantastic, we stood and watched for ages. Beyond them we saw a small bird perched up on a slender snag in the next field back, worth a look. Walking across the wet field wasn't wise the rain had made it puddle up but hidden under the long grass and our feet got soaked as step after step we went over the top of our boots. It was worth the wetting cos Swallows were flying past us at knee height as we disturbed insects from the grass and the bird in question turned out to be what we thought it was; a female Whinchat (MMLNR #89). What a great way to spend half an hour and then a Swift (MMLNR #90) flew over.
We passed Whitethroats and Blackcaps aplenty as we walked on towards the nature reserve. It was truly a lovely afternoon to be out with lots of bird song and very little human noise pollution.
The sound of more Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers came from the reedbeds but the Cetti's Warblers were notably quiet.
The gulls went up a few times, once we spotted an extremely high Heron and once we saw a low Buzzard but the other times we missed what had caused the panic - hope it wasn't something 'good'.
A Cetti's Warbler's explosive song burst from the scrub to our left only feet away. We stood and waited and watched, it flitted and sang and sang and flitted but simply refused to come out into the open. We had no problem with the bird singing away above it.
By now we were getting well peed off by the ridiculous numbers of dogs charging around all over the place including this muppet trying to encourage his mutt to get onto the island - fortunately his dog was having none of it.
By now we were getting towards being short of time and had to head back through more of the four-legged plague. In a quiet few minutes we snuck the few feet off piste to check for amphibians, finding a Toad and two small Great Crested Newts.
The orange stripe along the underside of the tail shows this individual to be a female.
Back at the wetland we bumped into AM - fresh back from finding what's believed to be Mallorca's first Isabelline Wheatear -and showed him the Whinchat in the wet fields. It was too distant to be photographed really.
Right hand bird the left hand one is a male Reed Bunting
Moments before reaching the Land Rover we saw a Kestrel hovering over the ponds.
Lovely to be out on safari this afternoon - apart from those darned dogs.
Where to next? Hopefully we'll be out somewhere tomorrow - A Dotterel or two would be nice but getting that far could prove tricky.
In the meantime let is know who's been the star in your outback today.


Ian Doyle said...

Great newt shot, well captured. I know what you mean about the four-legged plague, it's very annoying at times.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Newts are easy on land during the day Ian, they don't move much :-)



Heather Wilde said...

Did the Saker make it to the year list :) Hope you do have a Dotterel Day tomorrow.

Warren Baker said...

Loads of bird species there that would be very welcome on my year list Davyman, its hard work here at times !