Thursday, 23 March 2017

It was there but...

The Safari was able to get out to the big park before family duties kicked in on Sunday. It only took us a couple of minutes to find the Chough. We'd expected to see a large crowd giving us a clue as to where it was but there was no-one with bins and scopes to be seen. However, as it happened it was only a few feet from where it had been seen the previous day.
With the dreadful conditions and long range our pics weren't up to much and this dire effort is the best of a very bad bunch. Still a Chough (115) is a very welcome addition to our Year Bird Challenge, indeed it was our 100th species photographed giving us a 'hit rate' of 87%.
Monday's weather was much better but sadly we were stuck in the office driving the desk and unable to take advantage of the sunshine.
During the week we had the opportunity of a quick scamper down on to the beach to investigate an interesting looking piece of driftwood that may be useful as a feature for the refurbished gardens at work.
We had a good look at it but it was far too heavy for us to drag off the beach unaided. A good poke around it revealed a large Plumose Anemone secreted in a crevice so it would be a shame to remove it from the marine environment.
It would be good to see this specimen fully open. At the steps off the beach on our walk back to terra-firma there were a lot of starfish washed up from the previous day's heavy weather. We quickly found three different species, Common Starfish, a Cushion  Star and a Brittle Star, possibly Ophiothrix fragilis. It was good to be out on the beach again even if only for a few minutes, you just never know what you might come across down there.
Today we left Base Camp to the lovely sound of a Song Thrush singing loudly from the end of the street. We can hear the ones from Patch 1 in the distance but this was the first we've heard this close for a good number of years.
A quick morning look at the sea at Patch 2 while the computer was booting up and the kettle boiling gave us a flock of 33 Whooper Swans (P2 #32)  flying out to sea on their way to Iceland for the breeding season and a flock of 10 Eiders much closer in going towards the river mouth. All the while we could see little bouncing brown dots heading northwards most of which were well out to sea, Meadow Pipits, there were hundreds of them although we heard very few calls overhead. A little later in the morning we found out that 'thousands' had gone over the point to the north of us, JS had obviously been able to do a proper watch not just our ten minutes or so. All the same it was really good to know we'd witnessed a tiny part of a much bigger migration spectacle.
After work we took Monty to Chat Alley as Patch 2 would be still far to soggy after yesterday's nonstop deluge. he had a great time and we spotted a cracking male Wheatear (116) on the rocks down on the lower walk.We did get a pic for the YBC (#101) but it was with our phone on full zoom at considerable range so although we've added the pic to our album as it is jsut about identifiable we're too embarrassed to put it up for you to see...yes it is really that bad!
Where to next? Hopefully there'll be some sunshine and something to point the camera at.
In the meantime let us know who's on the move in your outback.

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