Sunday, 11 December 2016

A mixed bag for a grey and dreary Sunday

The Safari was hoping to get out early for a wander down along the dunes just south of Patch 2 this morning but it didn't happen. Instead we ended up heading north with Wifey who had an errand to run for her sister who was working in her shop today. While Wifey went inside we stayed out to watch the car and watched the urban wildlife flying round the rooftops. Mostly Herring Gulls and Feral Pigeons.
Once the errand was completed we took Monty for a slither up the hill over the estuary at the rather soggy Country Park.
Looks like he's discovered mud!!!
Chomps more grass than the average horse too!
There were a lot of flighty thrushes flying around. Mostly Redwings and Blackbirds with a few Fieldfares and a Mistle Thrush or two thrown in for good measure. None of them allowed anything like close enough approach with the camera. Put on the muddy banks of the dropping river in the estuary there were a decent number of Lapwings taking to the air from time to time. 
Closer, on the marsh, but not close enough was a Little Egret working its way along a small creek.
Back at Base Camp Monty was washed down and a bite of lunch was eaten, then it was time to hit the dunes in search of a Snowflake which we now knew probably hadn't been seen since early morning.
We started off at the bottom of Patch 2 and walk the strandline south watching for flits and hits of movement among the clumps of washed up seaweed lying at the top of the beach. As expected we came across a couple of Pied Wagtails after only a couple of minutes.
Once passed those our luck ran out and we didn't see another small bird for ages until a female Reed Bunting was spotted lurking in a patch of Marram Grass on the edge of the dunes. We continued for about a mile seeing just another pair of Pied Wagtails before the light really started to fade. The area of the lower dunes just behind the posts was awash with doggy footprints so we can only imaging our lovely little Snow Bunting had been dogged-off...but will it reappear in the week when it might be a little less busy.
At the farthest point a couple of lads were having a blast up and down the beach on their kite trolleys. Even in the very light breeze they were getting a fair turn of speed going.
We hurried back to the car and leaving the beach watched a couple of folk watching an enormous gaggle of Starlings lined up on the tram's overhead wires. The lady asked us if we were filming the birds so it would have been rude not to point the camera at them even though the light was atrocious.
We left and headed back to Base Camp passing the pier where no roost had started and the sky was dull and grey. As it transpired there was an awesome sunset just after we reached Base Camp and had settled down to a nice cuppa. What a shame we didn't stay out a few more minutes and catch the murmuration with a totally fiery sky.
'Our' Peregrine was roosting in its usual place close to Base Camp when we took Monty out for his tea-time mooch round the block, probably been there all day as we saw when we left this morning.
Where to next? A day off work tomorrow with some jobs to do but we're sure we'll find some wildlife somewhere to tell you about.
In the meantime let us know who's been dogged-off in your outback.

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