Sunday, 12 March 2017

Migrants, drugs, sun and rain

The Safari hasn't been able to get out much this week, work has got seriously in the way. There are signs of spring springing up all over the place now, including the works garden where we found this little snail seeking shelter from some dawn frost under a Daffodil petal.
Yesterday we had family business on the South-side and it took us to within a mile of the regular Cattle Egrets (113, YBC #93) you know the ones that are so regular that they weren't there last time we stopped at the site. Most people have seen them just over the hedge in the horse field. Today they were miles away across the fields...just typical of our luck lately. This is by far the best of c100 pics, but at least this local scarcity is on the list and the Year Bird Photo Challenge too.
Today we had a quick walk with Monty passing this very early opening Red Valerian on the neighbour's wall which also has the colony of Gooden's Nomad Bees.
We didn't get out again until the early morning sun was about to be lost, typical of our luck again! We headed out to the Nature Reserve, we've hardly been there this year. It was quiet-ish, but we did hear two Cetti's Warblers at the wetland but couldn't find the Stonechats that have been about recently.
Walking on through the reserve is was almost birdless, we were hoping for an early Chiffchaff and over the water a Sand Martin but neither put in an appearance. There was a nice selection of ducks on the water and a good number of gulls, no sign of the Iceland Gull again - has it left for colder climes already? 
We had an unsuccessful look for Bee Orchid rosettes finding this little Puffball instead. 
Moving on we saw a Kestrel hovering across the other side of the reedbed. By now it was drizzling and the light grotty but it was just about gettable for the YBC (#94). Can't really believe this is the first photo opportunity we've had of this species so far this year.
And if you thought that was bad have a shuffy at this Fieldfare (YBC #95) again the best we could do in the dark drizzle at serious range.
Lots of Cetti's Warblers were singing and we stopped and waited for a few of them but saw nothing. Our best hope was either the FBC hide where on sung several times but didn't show, we did hear a Snipe too but couldn't find it in the sky. Our next bet was Ice Station Zebra, which wasn't too cold today. There was one singing and not showing but we decided not to stay long as we were sharing the hide with some foul mouthed teenage scrotes smoking weed, one of them could only have been 13 or 14. Monty wasn't happy with them and wouldn't settle and we had to hold him which wouldn't have made photography easy. That neighbouring caravan site has some lovely customers - NOT!!!
Making our way back to the car the Feeding Station was quiet and we couldn't find the Stonechats again although we did hear a Cetti's Warbler and a Water Rail by the bench at the Wetland - of course we saw neither.
So no migrants there for us, they'll come we just have to make sure we're able to get out to see them!
Later in the afternoon the sun came out again and we thought we'd have a quick sprint down Chat Alley to see if there were any Wheatears down there, there's been a few here and there along the coast during the morning so there just might be one or two still moving through.
We were out of luck, the only small birds we saw were the local pair of Pied Wagtails.
We looked on the way back but there was nothing of note so we spent a few minutes trying to get some pics of the Herring Gulls riding the gentle up-draughts from the cliffs, most of them were going the 'wrong' way  but every now and then one came our way at the right height nicely illuminated bu the low sun.
So that was that, some success but not totally overjoyed about the weekend's safaris. Mustn't grumble though at least we got out and did see some sunshine.
In other news a couple of Buff Tailed Bumble Bees and a Tree Bee have been seen at Base Camp - sping is deffo a-springing.
Where to next? Hopefully we'll get out on Patch 2 at least once or twice this week.
In the meantime let us know who's springing in your outback.

No comments: