The Safari hopes everyone is well in these trying times. We've been eagerly awaiting the first of the spring arrivals walking the cliffs watching every little flit most of which were Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails as usual. We've also kept an eye out to sea too - the mild weather has made for flat calm seas and obviously we were looking out for some blubber, either a Grey Seal or a Harbour Porpoise. Unfortunately neither bothered to put in an appearance for us. Some seabirds have but only distantly like this pair of Eiders about a mile out. But hey-ho they count towards our 1 mile from Base Camp challenge in that we were within the mile even if the birds weren't.
A drake Common Scoter was much more obliging coming in from way way out before turning North a few hundred yards offshore
Somewhere between the two was a flock of Shelducks.
Out on the beach we found the eggcase of a Lesser Spotted Catshark that still had the embryo inside. After a request for adjudication we were allowed to add it to our Vertebrate Photo Challenge, #132.
We were hoping to find some other fish like Sand Gobies and Blennies but cold only find a few Blennies and they hid far too quickly for us to get a pic.
Meanwhile what about the Wheatears? Well we predicted we'd get on on the 15th looking at the weather charts. Well we didn't but they were seen south of the Ribble that day but obviously stopped short by 20 odd miles. They didn't turn up in the Fylde until the 17th and that was somewhat annoyingly to the north of us. We didn't get or first one until 23rd, a couple of days later than our average first sighting for the last 10 years, when three showed up together along Chat Alley. They were very flighty quickly moving north along the cliffs taking some effort to keep up with them.
|Vertbrate Challenge #134, 1 mile Challenge #26|
On the way back we passed a couple of anglers one of whom was into a fish so we waited to see what she had caught - a nice sized Dab came over the seawall. It was quickly unhooked and returned to the sea. And it counts as it was only temporarily captive and returned to the wild, #135
And after that came the Lock-Down. Thankfully the fields at the Rock Gardens haven't been built on yet (a real travesty given how biodiverse they are) and are slowly drying out after being a total quagmire for months, which is why we've been avoiding them with the mutt who is a total mud-mop, so we do have somewhere to wlak to and explore the wildlife in these 'interesting times' but migration is happening Spring is sprunging and anything can happen - watch this space.
Stay safe folks, keep your distance and above all look outside and enjoy the wildlife all around you - the birdsong is so much easier to appreciate without the abominable traffic noise and the sky-scape is much better without all the con-trails from the planes so there are some silver linings even if at times it might not feel like it.
Where to next? We'll be regaling you with tales from Base Camp and beyond...well up to a short distance away.
In the meantime let us know what you've been seeing in your very much restricted outback.