Monday, 15 September 2008

Season of Mists and......, 14th September

......virtually bugger all other than dog shit!

Why can't they take the crap home?

The forecast over night was for it to be clear with an easterly wind. Too clear to ground any migrants but I thought there might be a chance of some vis. I decided to have a look at Marine Gardens at first light to avoid the bird scarers (aka dog walkers) and all their accompanying crap (my apologies to all the considerate dog walkers out there). A case in point was when I was walking back to my car, after not managing to avoid the bird scarers, and a brainless spaniel of some kind wanted to have a look at me rather than go back to its owner. After a great deal of shouting, and bird scaring, it ran back to its owner. The owner said next time you'll have to bring a biscuit! Biscuit; a shot gun is what is required. Anyway I digress.

Marine Gardens

Marine Gardens is right on the coast at Fleetwood adjacent to some dunes. It consists of 0.75 mile length of fairly dense rose hips backing onto dunes. It looks to have potential, but I have failed to have anything decent there yet and this morning was going to be no exception. Cormorants were on the move at first light with 16 heading south and these were joined in their southerly passage by a few Meadow Pipits and 8 Grey Wagtails. The main problem was the mist that had formed in the bay and this needed to clear before anything would get on the move.

Next port of call was Mount Park. This is a small park on the coast behind a low hill, hence the name of the mount. The park has a lot of good migrant habitat and the hill provides good shelter from prevailing westerly winds. This park has a good track record for common migrants as well as producing several Yellow-browed's over the years.

The Wells Wood of Fleetwood!

I don't know why I called really as I knew there wouldn't be any grounded migrants. That wasn't quite true as I had 2 Goldcrests and the only other birds of vague interest were the 25 House Sparrows exiting a roost there.

More habitat in Mount Park

It was now starting to clear slightly and I decided to have a look at Rossall Point where I would later miss the two best birds of the morning! As I walked along the top of the dunes between the foreshore and the golf course there was some vis. A few Grey wagtails, Meadow Pipits, Swallows and Linnets moved south.

There were few waders on the incoming tide as the bird scarers had done their worst. 160 Knot and over 200 Oystercatchers roosted on the beach. Two Barwits were still around but the numbers of Ringed Plovers had decreased from two days ago.

A very distant Turnstone at Rossall Point

The bird scarers tried their best to disturb the roosting Sandwich Terns but 45 still managed to roost on the beach. The only seabirds of note were 2 Arctic Skuas west. The second pale morph bird tried its best to turn itself into a Long-tailed for a few seconds but unfortunately it didn't manage it!

I then received a phone call from 'her indoors' to say that I was needed at home to take one of our lads to enroll at university. I put my head down and started off walking to the car at a fair old lick and disappointingly for me not keeping an eye out for anything. Just I was nearing the car I got a phone call from Ian saying "did you see those two pale-bellied Brent Geese flying along the tideline?" Did I f*ck was my response and that ended the morning.

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