Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Mad migrants coming through

The Safari has been extremely busy at work with the culmination of the project happening yesterday afternoon. We have been a small cog in a large wheel getting a Dementia Friendly Family Garden built and not had much time for checking the rest of the grounds, lots of machinery disturbance along with the usual dog walkers from dawn til dusk and beyond.
As you can see the press were there in force. Full press story here. We're hiding at the back somewhere in the top pic.
We've  had few opportunities to nip over the road to see the sea and we new have there's been nowt to see anyway. The other day we had a couple of Gannets (129, P2 #40) cruise by and at low tide a gang of eight Carrion Crows were working their way along the more-substantial-than-usual strandline. Meanwhile a flock of 10 1st year Black Headed Gulls headed south-west already well out to sea - where were they going??? 
Locally migration has been a bit slow to say the least. We've heard reports of more Grasshopper Warblers and possibly the same two Little Ringed Plovers have visited the nature reserve on a couple of occasions but the southerly winds at the weekend did nothing to open the anticipated floodgates. It'll happen when it happens and in the meantime it's still that time of year when anything can happen whatever the weather.
And it has. We watched a Magpie (P2 #41) head north at about double roof-top height on Sunday it went steadily on its way until it was lost to view, surely a migrant rather than a local bird. We don't see that many here during the course of the  year. Sunday wasn't a bad day until mid afternoon when a cold front came in off the sea and it turned from very spring-like back to winter. Since then a brisk cold north westerly wind has picked up and strengthened. We missed the first Manx Shearwaters of the year by going back indoors too early yesterday but a heavy shower this morning dropped a Mega on to the work's garden. A Collared Dove (P2 #42)!!!  OK so we'd rather it had of been a Ring Ouzel or a Yellow Wagtail but still it was deffo one of those birding 'BOOM' moments! We see rarely see them here, in fact we've only recorded them in three years of the last seven, including 2017, and they have been fly-overs right along the seawall, and having seen one land on the seawall we can't actually remember seeing one grounded in the garden before we started year listing Patch 2, we've been here since late 2004.
It was pecking around on the small potato patch our volunteers planted last week but had moved a little further away onto the lawn by the time we'd grabbed the camera. Maybe we should have taken the time to see if anything else had been dropped by the rain but sadly we were right in the middle of something at the desk.
Taken through double glazed window
The joys of local patches eh!
Where to next? Day off tomorrow, had some plans but we've had to change them - we'll be out somewhere on Safari but not the South-side as originally intended.
In the meantime let us know who's popped in just for a minute in your outback.

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