Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Berries galore but...

The Safari was out on Patch 2 early this morning but it was very quiet out on the sea. Beneath our feet we found a dry piece of seaweed we weren't sure about. There's not that many to chose from so we shouldn't have had any problems IDing it but we did.
We're now fairly sure it's a piece of Egg Wrack that doesn't have any 'eggs' along the midrib our marine biologist friend DB should be able to confirm that.
We tried again on Patch 2 at lunchtime but it was no better. There was a bit of sunshine so we went for a wander around the work's garden instead. Along the back wall there's a good stretch of the invasive and very prickly Japanese Rose. It's absolutely bedecked with bright red rose hips.
But as we walked further we saw that not a single one had been pecked open. Normally by this late in the autumn we have a small flock of Greenfinches kicking around the garden. Where are they? Well a quick peruse of the BTO website gave a bit of a clue - basically there aren't many about compared to previous years.
Taken from the BTO website
So after a population high point 10 years ago there's been a decided crash to fewer than there have been at any time since at least the 1960s probably due to the Trichomonosis disease they are suffering from.
You can see how few there are being reported this year compared to historically using the Birdtrack graph.
Taken from the Birdtrack website
Thankfully we still get them in the garden at Base Camp but that does mean that we need to thoroughly clean the feeders before we refill them.
We'll keep you posted if any Greenfinches turn up and/or we get a different ID on the seaweed. 
A shorter whizz round Patch 1 with Monty late afternoon gave us at least two Goldcrests again, lots of Magpies going to roost, at least 30 and the Peregrine was on the tower settled in for the night - a little warmer for it than of late 5C rather than a chilly -4C.
Where to next? More Patch 2 nonsense and maybe some Patch 1 stuff too.
In the meantime let us know who's all dried up in your outback.

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