Monday, 4 January 2016

First visit of the year to the seaside

The Safari got out on to Patch 2 as soon as it was light enough to be able to use the scope but we'd already seen a Blackbird and a small unknown thingy almost certainly a Robin or a Dunnock in the pitch black as we walked from the car park first thing.
The tide was dropping and there was a good number of Oystercatchers (55) and gulls on the growing beach. Further to our left there was a superb wheeling flock of Knot (56) and then we found a small number of Sanderlings (57) amongst  a small group of Oystercatchers. out to sea a few Cormorants were flying around and fishing and we found two Great crested Grebes. Common Scoters (58) numbered at least 250 but it took a while to find our first Redshank (59) up on the lower part of the wall rather than on the beach itself.
A second visit at lunchtime gave us an amazing count of well over 850 Cormorants, they were distant and very tightly packed roosting on the outer estuary sandbanks, there could easily have been well over 1000 of them! The most we've ever seen out there. A Grey Wagtail flew along the top of the wall.
We decided to have a quick walk round the garden, a good move as we found a Song Thrush (60) which are scarce visitors here skulking under the front hedge. Further round the generous unknown people who keep the feeders topped up had attracted a big flock of at least 30 House Sparrows (61) but we failed to find anything else.
Our total for Patch 2 after our first day is 19.
No pics today - far too gloomy.
Where to next? more of the gloomy same but no doubt there'll be more new birds to find and hopefully a mammal or two too.
In the meantime let us know who's arrived in generous numbers in your outback.

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