Monday, 7 September 2015

Can't have what you want all the time

The Safari arrived on Patch 2 full of hope this morning. Barely a ripple on the water and just a gentle swell, all looked good for some blubber action. Sadly it wasn't to be, other than a huge number, easily in excess of a couple of thousand, of Common Scoters there was disappointingly little out there.
The works garden had a Robin which was new in, not seen one there for a long time and the Dunnocks were doing their autumnal peeep calls. Another smaller bird darted across a gap in the hedge but we didn't get anything on it and despite a few minutes serious 'pishing' it never reappeared...a warbler of some description but which one??? All are particularly scarce here especially in the autumn when they don't sing to give their presence away.
A bit of time in the garden later with a new volunteer didn't produce anything more exciting than a lot of Black Ants and a medium sized Lob Worm
A late lunch saw us back on the wall again, the sea was even calmer but there was more haze and glare from the strong sun. A few Cormorants were scattered here and there and the Common Scoters were still sat in the distance all along the horizon but this time we did have a bit of blubbery luck in the form of a mid distance Grey Seal's nose.
On the way back to Base camp we had to drop off the genny we'd borrowed for the moth trap on Saturday evening. There was no-one about at the allotment to take it from us so while we waited we got the camera out and had a stroll round their plot. Lots of bees of several species were about, overhead a Southern Hawker buzzed at one time catching a tiny fly but releasing it immediately, must heave been a distasteful one!
Common Carder Bee on Nasturtium
There were a lot of butterflies about but all seemed to be Small Whites. Most of them wouldn't settle long enough for a a snap but this one spent a few minutes slurping up nectar on a just about open Ice Plant (Sedum spectable?)
Birds were represented by a flurry of raptors, indeed we saw no birds of prey at the nature reserve yesterday but got almost the full set of local species in a short spell this afternoon; with a very high Buzzard being alerted to us by the gulls on the refuse centre roof. Again they found a Sparrowhawk soaring around but we found the Kestrel without their help.
Our contacts didn't turn up and we had to leave. A little later than usual our commute ended up in the gridlock that forms by the school field. There's nowhere to go you just have to wait your turn but there was interest outside the windscreen - flying ants, and they had attracted the attention of a couple of dozen gulls, mostly Black Headed Gulls. In a traffic induced daze we watched them circling round picking off the unfortunate insects, two gulls almost collided above us as they went after the same insect - squawks all round as they veered away from each other at the last minute. Then we saw a flash of too much white for a Black Headed Gull and had to wait a while hoping the queue wouldn't move too much in the meantime - Result! A second winter Mediterranean Gull! Probably the closest we've ever had to Base Camp, we've never had one on Patch 1
Where to next? Hopefully there'll be better or at least closer blubber on Patch 2 in the mmorning and then we have to nip out to the nature reserve for an hour or so.
In the meantime let us know who's having a good old slurp of nectar in your outback.

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