The Safari was hoping to put the moth trap on last night but multiple weather forecasts suggested there would be showers through the first half of the night so we decided not to bring it out and set it up. A seemingly bad move as when we got up this morning the yard was bone dry, not a drop of rain had fallen overnight. Ahh well...with no moths to work through that gave us time to head out to the nature reserve.
We pulled up by the gate to the wetland just as ST and her lovely new(ish) dog Max were leaving so we had to have a chat and a tickle of Max's ears. After chatting about doggies, holidays and the ridiculous planning application of yet more caravans this time actually ON the nature reserve we parted company, Max and S to their breakfasts us to the reserve. We'd not gone far when we looked for yesterday's probably-long-gone-by-now dead Common Shrew finding and moving a Brown Lipped Banded Snail (yellow background, one band) off the path before it got trodden on. Only a few steps further on we got a call from LR asking where we were. We told him we'd just come on site and he told us to look up and across to the nature reserve where an Osprey had just hovered over the water and got the gulls up. It didn't take long to pick out the bigger bird from the throng of gulls (MMLNR #98). Had we not met S we'd very likely have been much closer and the Osprey may well have been in range of the big lens we had with us, having said that it was lovely to have a stroke of Max's super-soft fluffy coat.
LR met up with us at the 'vis-mig' gate but by then the Osprey was long gone. From there we mooched down to the viewing platform where the early morning sunshine was dreadful to look into. Next we walked down to the scrape passing not a great lot on the way, a couple of Blackcaps and Dunnocks and a Lesser Whitethroat but compared to the flock-fest yesterday it was very very quiet.
At the scrape there was a small flock of Lapwings but nothing else other than a few Mallards. LR went off home and we went to have a look round the corner for a look at the scrape from a different angle to see if anything was lurking out of sight - there wasn't but we did hear a couple of Cetti's Warblers on our walk round.
Another look at the scrape on our return to get a count of the Lapwings revealed we'd missed a Ruff (MMLNR #99) earlier, or it dropped in unnoticed while we were walking round to the second viepoint. Either way it was a good find they're few and far between on the ground here.
The walk back to tour old cabins was uneventful apart from the large flock of Goldfinches we saw yesterday although today they were on the opposite side of the path.
The Elder bush at the cabin was empty of ripe berries and therefore birds too. The Rowan has plenty of berries but it was now we realised we'd been on site for well over an hour and not seen a Blackbird yet. There wasn't even one feasting on the jewel red berries the other side of the fence today. A Jay flew past us though landing in the willows at the western end of the reserve, just the second we've seen here this year.
By now we were getting in dire need a brew and some breakfast so it was back to the car we went, no sign of the Ring Necked Parakeet this time.
A quiet but oddly productive early morning out.
Where to next? Back to Patch 2 tomorrow, wonder what'll be out there.
In the meantime let us know who dropped unannounced in to your outback.