Also noted were more Collared Doves than usual, or possibly/more likely the usual amount of Collared Doves in unusual places. A small flock of Blue and Great Tits contained no Long Tailed Tits or anything else today.
Patch 2 was horrifically quiet, the sea held a big fat zero of anything and the dropping tide had left seemingly little to interest the local gulls, very few of them this morning and just a handful of Oystercatchers loafing around too…that was it…very, very quiet.
The long march back to the office gave us a pair of Linnets on the overhead wires, a passing Meadow Pipit, and then, bird of the day, a Tree Pipit flew over calling, only our second of the year.
Then it was off to meet the group of little people on the beach, a bit of the beach we haven’t studied before…oooohhh. What a beautiful warm and sunny day it was too…and not before time!
Not only was it a bit of beach we haven’t looked at previously but it is also one of the main tourist beaches and so gets mechanically over-cleaned every day which certainly had some bearing on our finds.
Lots of Banded Wedge Shells – Common Scoter food.
Sea squirt Corella parallelogramma? awaiting confirmation, could be anything really and we didn't get a pic...doh...
Many Brown Shrimps – many even big enough to eat
Just a single tiny Common Prawn
Common Razor shells
Baltic Tellin including a tiny one no more than 3mm across which had the tell tale drill hole of Necklace Shell predation
The normally abundant Rayed Trough Shell was hard to find and no whole ones.
Small Common Cockle shells
Sand Mason Worm tubes
A few ‘peeler’ Green Shore Crabs hiding around the legs of the pier and talking of legs just one leg from a Masked Crab.
The smallest Starfish we’ve ever seen, with one tube foot poking out.
Striped Venus, which if the growth rings are laid down annually as in a tree then this individual is about 50 years old.
Not a bad haul, species-wise if not quantity-wise for an hours work
A short late lunchtime/early afternoon safari back to Patch 2 was similarly quiet to this morning’s visit but without the gulls and Oystercatchers as the tide was in. Double quiet indeedy then! A small string of around a couple of dozen Common Scoters flew northwards along the shimming horizon while 50 or more sat out in small groups scattered far and wide. A single male sat all on his lonesome close inshore. Nearby a Cormorant wrestled with a large flattie for a few minutes before it was no more than a strange shaped bulge in the birds crop – shhhhh don’t tell the fishermen or they’ll be baying for a cull. “How very dare they make a living from our fun!!!”
A dead Harbour Porpoise at the southern end of the Patch was reported to us and so we just had to go and have a look…bit of a mess on the throat and chest - impossible to tell what made the injuries or if they are an after death thing.
Then we were off to the big park to collect our exhibition pics so they can be relocated on the walls at work for September - so if you missed them at the Visitor Centre and your desperate to see em you still have a chance.
Where to next? Just the usual patchy stuff tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know what’s all washed up in your outback.