Sunday, 18 December 2016

Can't beat a sparrow or two

The Safari was lucky enough to get out at lunchtime at work the other day just as the sun broke through the dismal grey of the morning. Patch 2 was poor out to sea but we did see this sticker from our friends from the Love My Beach project on one of the bins.
Not sure we agree with the sentiment here, gulls have been using the sea as a resource for a lot longer than we have been bathing/swimming/paddling in it en-masse. What happens when thousands of them turn up on a shellfish wreck after a storm? How much poo do the pods of 30 or more Bottlenose Dolphins do as they cruise the coast in the summer? We can understand not feeding them to prevent nuisance food/ice cream thefts but why the need to vilify them, the poor things get a bad enough and unwarranted press as it is?
With nothing happening out to sea we took the camera round the gardens to see what we could spy.
Where the kind mystery person had put the feeders up there was a good flock of House Sparrows. The sounds coming from the flock are superb, really cheery and uploiting on a dull winter's day.
There were several more to the left and right too
They're usually quite wary and unapproachable but not today, they allowed a reasonably close approach.
And with caution and no sudden moves we got closer still.
This particular female was showing great interest in something at the tip of the twig she was perched on....seeds?
The males are resplendent and overlooked by far too many folks. Dapper little crackers they are.
But if you try to sneak another inch this happens
While we were there a few gulls started flying around and one of them was the nearly full black headed Black Headed Gull we mentioned the other day.
Yesterday was another family day but a wander out onto the dunes with the dogs found us a large Puffball fungus but not the 'normal' Giant Puffball. It's something we've not seen for a good few years.
We didn't get out today, we had hoped to nip down to the pier to have a look at the Starling murmuration at dusk but the afternoon sunshine gave way to grey murk rather than a fabulous sunset so we gave it a miss.
Where to next? There's still a Velvet Scoter to be found out on Patch 2 and of course if there's a sunset there could well be a visit to the Starlings after work.
In the meantime let us know who's doing the cheery chirruping in your outback.

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