Sunday, 23 November 2008

Gimme Shelter, 22nd November 2008

No I am not referring to the classic Stones song but the fact that on a northerly wind it is very difficult to get shelter at the Coastguard's Tower at Rossall Point. The Coastguards Tower faces due north and when you are watching birds off Rossall Point they are generally moving east or west. A mistake by visiting birders is that they record movement as north or south thinking that it it the same as elsewhere on the Fylde coast. Thankfully this morning there was a touch of easterly in the northerly and I could get a little shelter on the westerly side of the tower. This made the difference from being absolutely f*cking freezing to just absolutely freezing! And as that awful large supermarket chain would say "every little helps".

The first bird I had this morning as I staggered along the front to get in position to spend a few hours watching waves was a Rock Pipit that soon disappeared as the first of the 'bird scarers' appeared.

On the sea numbers of Eider had built up since I was here last and totalled 51. Seven Red-throated Divers headed in to the bay as did 11 Red-breasted Mergansers. I had a few Auk sp.'s heading into the bay and it was only a few as I had 5. Forty six Pink-footed Geese headed north towards Walney and on a few occasions a flock of 38 were attempting to land on the sea but thinking better of it.

There seemed to be a few more Great Black-backed Gulls around this morning or it might just have been the fact that I decided to count them and I had 14, mainly on the beach. In fact you will see below an awful attempt to photograph one.

As I was just stood in one location I didn't really get to grips with any waders other than 100 Sanderlings, 32 Oystercatchers and 12 Redshanks. As I was stood seawatching I caught a movement to my left and a male Stonechat was perched up on the dunes.

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