Sunday, 20 September 2009


I decided to see if 'Ian's' Long-billed Dowitcher was still about this morning and after a long trudge across a very muddy and slippery salt marsh I wished I hadn't bothered because it wasn't. I suppose there might have been a chance when the tide came in as it was a 10 metre tide and would completely cover the marsh, but because of this you wouldn't be able to walk down to view the pools! Ah well, some you win some you lose.

After Ian and I had put the birding world to rights we went our separate ways to make sure we covered as much of the Fleetwood area as possible. It was very clear this morning so it was obvious it was going to be a vis morning and not a grounded migrant morning. Talking of vis I forgot to mention that whilst searching forlornly for the Dowitcher I had a Tree Pipit over. Anyway I digress. Ian went off to the Mount and I went off to Fleetwood Cemetery.

Migrant habitat - Fleetwood Cemetery

As soon as I stepped out of the car birds were going over heading south. This included 4 Grey Wagtails, a few Alba Wagtails, Linnet, Chaffinch, Meadow Pipit and Swallow. An immature male Sparrowhawk was darting in and out of the sycamores along the western edge of the cemetery hopefully not catching anything rare before I found it. The only phylloscs I had weren't of the 'stripey' kind but were nevertheless two very fresh looking Chiffchaffs.

Chiffchaff by Simon Hawtin

I had a few butterflies in the cemetery sunning themselves on headstones including the Painted Lady and Speckled Wood below.

Next stop was Rossall School. The first couple of birds I had were two Chiffchaffs, again both birds looked lovely and fresh. Good numbers of birds were on the move including over 100 Mipits, 50 + Swallows, Chaffinch, Sparrowhawk, Linnet, Grey Wag and Alba Wags.

Scrub at Rossall School. What's lurking in here?

Other than the Chiffchaffs, there wasn't really any other grounded migrants other than perhaps 4 Reed Buntings and a handful of Robins. I had a look on the sea and it was as calm as a mill pond.

Eiders on the 'mill pond'

Consequently it was very easy to pick out Common Scoters as they weren't hidden in wave troughs. I had a respectable 369 along with 21 Eiders, but I suspect there were a lot more Scoters than this.

It looks like we will drop into a westerly airstream for the first few days this week before high pressure takes charge again from mid-week. I am not sure how much I will be able to get out this week, but I will try. However from 25th September I am off for two weeks so it will be 16 consecutive days of birding no matter what the weather will be like!

1 comment:

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Virtually no vis over the back side of Warbreck Hill 07.30 - 10.00this morning apart from a coupla Mipits, must all go coast side as we are only a couple of miles south of you.