Saturday, 26 September 2009

Right Decision and Too Early!

Recently I managed to negotiate access to do some ringing at Rossall School which is right on the coast. This is in fact an old ringing site of ours when we used to ring breeding Lapwing and Ringed Plover there! Now that's a long time ago and before that, one of the biology masters used to ring at the site in the 1970s and 80s. Anyway, we are quite keen to ring there because of its coastal location and it will be perfect for tape luring Meadow Pipits. All this week the met office have been under forecasting the wind, which is most unusual, because after the hurricane in 1987 they have always over forecasted it! This morning was no exception and the wind was a good 15 mph west-northwesterly when the met office had forecast anywhere between 6 and 8. Based on our experience during the past week we decided not to believe them and decided not to arrange to go ringing this morning. Right decision!

I suppose I am quite lucky in that I never have any problem getting up early to go birding. In fact I would go as far as to say that I have to be out by first light or not at all! Occasionally in my over eagerness I get it wrong and this morning was a classic example as it was still quite dark when I got to Rossall Point! I won't make the same mistake tomorrow! In fact I'll be able to have an extra 5 minutes or so in bed...yippee!

Even though it was just half light as I left the car and walked along the top of the dunes I carried on, perhaps in the vain hope that I might kick out a grounded migrant or two from the brambles. No chance! The weather was just awful; not windy enough for seawatching, too windy for vis and the wrong conditions for grounded migrants.

As always Oycs were on the beach and numbered 179. Amazingly this morning there wern't too many dog walkers about and they had quite a peaceful time feeding on the falling tide. The only other shorebirds around in any numbers were Knot. I had just under 600 birds fly east in to the bay in groups of 40-60.

The sea was quiet other than 179 Common Scoter, which is quite good for Rossall, 21 Cormorants, 12 Eiders and a Guillemot close in just beyond the surf.

The blob above is a Grey Seal. Honestly!

The first true migrants I had of the morning were from the chat family and I had 2 Wheatears and a single male Stonechat. Vis was very slow with 2 Grey Wagtails, 20 Swallows and a handful of Mipits. A flock of 45 Linnet roamed everywhere, causing me to scratch my head wondering whether they were different birds or not.

In fact I was so bored I took the picture below of my scope and tripod. I must be losing it!

I don't why I went into Fleetwood Cemetery afterwards as I knew there would be no birds and guess what, there were no birds! Unless a couple of Robins count! I did have some Skylarks over and they must have been high because I could hear them but not see them.

This afternoon I had to go to Lancaster and on the way back I called at Conder Green for a quick look. On the pool were three Little Grebes and on the estuary amongst the 20 or so Redshank were two Spotted Redshanks. I then called at Moss House Farm to put some food out at the feeding station. The number of Tree Sparrows had increased to 18 from a few days ago and the only other birds I had were a flock of 30 Goldfinch and three Kestrels.

Above and below are Conder Pool and the Conder Estuary just to prove that occasionally I do get out of Fleetwood to look at birds!


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

I'll believe you with the blob-seal. I was on my way home as you were getting out of the car! - up far too early; and what it is about Conder Green? Has it developed birder magnetism this weekend?



Fleetwood Birder said...

If you were just on your way home Dave, you were probably having more fun than me! Conder Green does seem to get quite a bit of attention these days since the pool went in as part of the flood alleviation scheme for Lancaster. Mind you small estuaries can be good for finding rares as there is only a handful of waders to look through!