Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Mad Dogs and Englishman (and woman) go out in a Force Ten - come on - where were the rest of you?
Your Walk Leader (Chris) and Group Leader (me) awaited the hordes but settled for just the two of us. The first hurdle was to get out of the car with doors pinned by the wind, then an entertaining time of trying to get arms into jackets, now resembling sails. We tacked upwind down the west side of the harbour to look into the pool and to say we had braved the gales - one of Portsmouth Harbour's large Cardinal Buoy markers had broken free and was now on the beach - we soon turned round and were blown nicely along, back to the northern path where it was sheltered from the wind. Our list was already 20 species - Lapwing, Great Crested, Egret, Teal, Shelduck, and a lone Blackbird. Along the path we had Long Tail Tits and good views of Canada Geese. We then went onto to the underpass to take us into the northern fields where we heard a Song Thrush and saw a Heron and Buzzard soaring away. There was a brief glimpse of a Stonechat. We returned by the path that takes you back to the information 'hut' where 'elevenses' was partaken while sheltering from the now strong storm winds, our list was at 30 - need to find some more we commented or they will think we made up the number - Gadwall and a Chaffinch luckily obliged. Half a mile to go - and it started to rain - a quick march back to the car - alas no new birds seen.
Bird(s) of the morning - the numerous Brent Geese - watching them fly in the wind and doing some impressive hand brake landings.
32 was our total - we only got wet for the very last section and all in all a very enjoyable morning - you led your group well Chris - thank you!