Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Thought it best to get out and bash some bushes

The Safari set off for work slightly earlier than usual this morning with the intention of finding one of those Siberian Sprites that have graced our shores this last week or so. We stopped off at the park where we'd seen the one last week. It's been a hotspot for good birds for many years with all manner of rarities turning up but the only Yellow Browed Warbler recorded there before last week's bird was one that had got itself trapped inside someone's house and caught in a big sweetie jar and released there. 
We had a good mooch about but trying to hear anything calling was difficult with the horrendous traffic noise, it really is an awful thing; how on earth does wildlife put up with it? We did manage to hear a Chiffchaff call from one of the groups of trees in the middle of the park and then a Goldcrest piped up. We sort of did a zig-zig across the middle of the park taking in the scattered groups of trees stopping for a listen every so often, apart from the traffic it was very quite! A couple of Robins and a Wren were normal fare for a suburban park and it wasn't until we were almost back at the car that we heard then saw something more interesting, a flock of Long Tailed Tits working their way through the  roadside tree tops. A good 'carrier' flock so stopped in front of them and waited for them to pass. There's still lots of leaves on the trees, we haven't had a decent autumn blow to knock them off yet, so counting and keeping up with the Lotties was tricky. There were at least 10 of them but the only other bird we could find with them was a Blue Tit. further back in the direction from which the flock had come from we heard two more Goldcrests call and with the clock now pushing on it was time to leave.
Instead of having a look at Patch 2, which could have been a silly decision as seven Bottlenose Dolphins were seen across the bay yesterday, we had a wander round the work's garden - all very quite save for two Robins (down from six over the last couple of days) and the almost mega rare Wren is still here.
A mid-morning tea-break saw us out in the garden for a very quick shuffy again, this time we had three Robins but nothing else.
Lunchtime came and again we decided to hit the garden with the camera this time just in case a Robin pic more than anything. We headed out of the back door and went past our wild garden, at the end of the building we heard the loud penetrating inflected 'tsweet', it can only have been made by a Yellow Browed Warbler so we followed the calls round the corner and stared at the hedge for a few moments. More excited calling, a flit, a brief glimpse and then it was up and away across the road. Thankfully the hedge isn't too tall and there aren't that many bushes by the tram tracks so we were able to see where it landed. 
A tram traveler waiting for his ride saw our bins and camera and asked what we had seen. It was calling again and now we had two pairs of eyes looking for it if it should show itself. A House Sparrow popped out to chew on some fallen Dandelion seeds.
Eventually, after what seemed lake an age the minuscule warbler did break cover right on the top of the shrubs and we both got a quick but half decent view before it went back in to cover. It didn't stay there long a couple of minutes later it popped up again this time on the promenade handrail where it showed really well - enough for our new friend to exclaim 'wow it has got a yellow brow hasn't it!' before it shot off over our heads to the next bushes to the south. We shot off after it leaving our friend to catch his approaching tram.  We had one more brief glimpse of it flitting low down on the backside of the bushes before it was lost forever. No chance of a pic but we're well chuffed that a self found Yellow Browed Warbler (P2 #76) is on the list. We tried a quick look at the bushes further down the track but could only find this rather sizeable Common Wasp sunning itself.
Back at Base Camp excitement has reached fever pitch with the arrival of the puppy, Monty. Our lives have changed forever...we wont tell you how many times he's peed on the carpet already, only been in the house two hours!
Where to next? More scouring of the work's bushes and we have a group of youngsters out on the beach rockpooling late afternoon so hopefully they'll find some interesting stuff to tell you about.
In the meantime let us know who's causing mayhem in your outback.

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