Wednesday, 26 August 2015

We have been out on safari - honest

The Safari has been out n about but not had many photo opportunities this week. We'll start off with a bit of a moth we found early the other morning settled high up on a window at work. It took a good tip-toe  stretch to get the phone anywhere near it.
Word on the virtual street is that it's Agriphila straminella, a common enough species but we'll have to check the records to see if it's been recorded at work in the past.
Patch 2 has been a bit hit abd miss, when it's been quiet it's been very quiet but when it's been good there's been some superb skua action. Yesterday we watched two Arctic Skuas giving a poor Sandwich Tern a right royal mugging. This morning only one was seen but there have been up to half a dozen out there relieving the 300 or more Sandwich Terns of their hard earned fish.
There was a huge shoal of dish this morning which had attracted a good number of gulls, terns and Gannets but none were diving, the fish must have been visible but just too deep so as to be out of reach, there can't have been any marine predators like our blubbery friends the Bottlenose Dolphins or other larger fish to drive them to the surface.Talking of the dolphins a short piece of video appeared on the social media from the weekend of a pod of about 30 Bottlenose Dolphins just out of range from us in the mouth of the River Mersey off Liverpool filmed from a small boat
Other birds of note this morning were a juvenile Kittiwake and three Manx Shearwaters, the fist of those we've seen for a fair while now. Today was too choppy but yesterday's much calmer conditions gave us a Grey Seal in the middle distance.
We had our last children's group of the holiday yesterday afternoon and this time we were at a site we rarely get to explore on the beach in the town centre. We took the kids with their pots and nets to the pools round the pier legs and there they caught hundreds if not thousands of Brown Shrimps. However, there was little else, certainly no large Common Prawns but they did find some tiny juveniles barely bigger than plankton! A few Green Shore Crabs were netted mostly very small ones, the biggest being about an inch and a half across the carapace. A lone piece of seaweed was where they found a Sand Goby and couple of very tiny juvenile Blennies.
After they'd exhausted the possibilities around the pier legs we had a look in a runnel. My word the water was warm, felt almost tropical as we picked out a variety of shells from the shallow pool. The standline beyond the pool gave us a Curved Razor Shell and several broken carapaces of Masked Crabs
There hasn't been much wind recently, which thankfully is what you'd expect in the summer, so there weren't too many shells washed up. The oddest find of the year must have been the black pudding lurking on the'd that get there?
If only we'd taken a tub of mustard with us!
You just never know what you're going to find.
Where to next? Last day at work before the holiday tomorrow and we might be able to get a little adventure in.
In the meantime let us know who's doing the mugging in your outback.

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