The Safari was able to get out a little earlier today, we've a sackful of hours to use up at work before the end of this week as there's exciting times ahead.
We had a target bird at the nature reserve we should have got last week at the Friends group's Migration Watch but we turned up too late after faffing around in the little coastal park hoping for a Yellow Browed Warbler.
It was a very pleasant morning, mild and just about windless but getting out of the car we didn't hear anything like the number of ticking Robins we expected, it may have been a 'clear out' rather than a 'drop in' night.
The sun was rising as we rounded the corner and started the long straight march down to the reserve gate and there was a bit of colour happening already. Last night's sunset was apparently spectacular, we missed it due to having an 'eat-in' at the chippy and it was one of those occasions when we really should have had a take out on the Prom. Later on we'd totally forgotten about the probability of an aurora and were a bit miffed when we saw some of the pics from not too far away although it's a bit tricky here only a mile from some of the biggest light pollution in the world! Enough woffle on with today's news...
A few minutes later
We think we need to plant some trees along the far bank to hide the big water slide tower, we find it very intrusive in pics!
In the pic above there is a skein of about 100 Pink Footed Geese in the dazzling bit just below the clouds and very carefully trying not to burn our retinas out we could see bouncing little things migrating southwards down at the far end but it was all down that end and nothing came overhead.
From the reeds to our right and front we heard a couple of Cettti's Warblers arguing with each other and a third was much further down the reedbed.
We had a little wander down the path and stood at the vis mig point for a while without any joy but still seeing stuff going through in the distance. A party of about half a dozen Long Tailed Tits came by but held no other species amid their number.
The light was better now so we went for another quick look across the water to see a flock of Mallards drop in from the far fields and a few Shovelers from the golf course lakes and pools.
Then we noticed some light ripples on the pool in the reeds in front of us and viewing them through the Swazzas we saw the largest concentration of Whirligig Beetles we've ever seem, there weren't hundreds there were thousands! This pic is only a tiny fraction of how many were there.
Mid-morning we had a mega sighting - no fewer than a flock of THREE Magpies heading south together over the back field and then the neighbouring rooftops.
At lunchtime the sea at Patch 2 was a Common Scoter-fest but there was little else and with no chance of getting out during the afternoon we had to wait until going home time to troubke the notebook again, this time with a Silver Y moth at the last remaining Viper's Bugloss flowers in the wild garden.
Back at Base Camp we were once again accosted by the loitering OC. He's desperate to show us something by one of his friends on You Tube but doesn't know the exact title or name so finding it is proving a challenge. To keep him busy for while we went upstairs and found a bird book we've not used for a long time, doubt it's been off the shelf for at least 10 years, and a pack of post-it notes and stuck 10 of them on birds for him to look for between now and this weekend.
We'll do anything to get a new recruit in to the birding scene!Where to next? Another early start at the nature reserve we think...can't believe we run the risk of not finding a Skylark there this year...what's going on???
In the meantime let us know who's going round in circles in your outback.