It had one of those 'feels' to this morning, you know what I mean, it felt like it was going to be a classic autumn morning. It had been clear overnight at first, cloud cover had developed and there was a light southerly wind. I thought that Phil and I were going to be in for a good morning's ringing and birding at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park but how wrong could I be.
A couple of nets were erected in some willow scrub on the edge of a reedbed; tape lures were selected and surely it would just be a matter of time before birds would be going over and dropping into our nets. Well, not exactly. An early Reed Warbler and a Meadow Pipit got our hopes up, but it didn't get much better.
By about 9.30 a.m. all we had ringed were 7 birds comprising of a Robin, Meadow Pipit, Reed Warbler, Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch and a Blue Tit.
There was very little vis over the Nature Park and I even phoned Ian up, who I knew would be on the coast, and it was quiet there which made me feel a little better. When I say there was very little vis, there was some and this included 10 Grey Wagtails, 63 Meadow Pipits, 12 Alba Wags, 14 Goldfinch, 3 Skylarks, 40 Pink-footed Geese, 36 Swallows and 3 Linnets. Grounded migrants were probably limited to what we caught plus 3 Reed Buntings and a calling Goldcrest.
Out on the pools the usual bits and pieces were present with 31 Coots, 2 Little Grebes and 30 Tufted Ducks. I did however, have a site tick, in the form of two Great Spotted Woodpeckers. I couldn't decide whether these were migrants or whether they were a pair that had perhaps bred around the water treatment works. But when I had a Jay go over it made me think that they were perhaps migrants.
Just after lunch a message came through of a probable Yellow-browed Warbler in a garden at Rossall, followed by a phone call from Ian saying that it was a definite Yellow-browed Warbler as he was watching it in David and Jackie's garden! Fifteen minutes later I was doing the same. It was a bit elusive but I got stonking views of it as it fed in some sycamores at the bottom of the garden. Excellent! I counted up and this was mu sixth Yellow-browed for the Fylde.
I wasn't planning to go birding tomorrow but after the Yellow-browed and the fact that Ian has just phoned me to say that he has found a juv. Long-billed Dowitcher on Fleetwood Tip I think I will have to!
Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve, Hempton Marsh Reserve, Titchwell RSPB & Holme Bird Observatory! - I had a fabulous day's birding in the sunshine, but it was bitterly cold and every layer of clothing was required! The main aim of the day was to see Willo...
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