Friday, 4 September 2009

Willow Tit, Pinkies and Rotary Ditcher

A bit of a mixed few days since my last posting. It had been my intention to get out birding yesterday (3rd) morning but the weather was just appalling. Even too bad for standing at Rossall! I had also planned to go out this morning but two of my RSPB mates had invited me to come and have a look at their rotary ditcher in action on a farm near Cockerham creating habitat for breeding waders. I intend to book the rotary ditcher to work on a couple of my sites next autumn. More of that later.

On Wednesday (2nd) I visited a farm near some of the Wigan flashes and this particular farm had some land that backed onto and was part of Abram Flash SSSI. Walking down towards the flash we put two Buzzards up and then I heard the unmistakable buzzing nasal call of a Willow Tit. I expected to find it feeding in the top of a willow or similar but it was feeding low down and hanging off a long stem of grass before flying in to a nearby low hawthorn bush.

As I mentioned briefly before I went to a farm at Cockerham to have a look at the RSPB's rotary ditcher in action. It was creating a number of linear ditches to provide habitat for breeding waders. The series of pictures show the beast, the beast in action and what it can do. It doesn't need any more explanation.







Already the ditches created were attracting waders as a few Lapwings fed around one of the ditches and a juv Ringed Plover dropped in for a look! Never mind the breeding waders what is it going to attract this autumn!

Whilst the ditcher was doing its stuff we had a walk round the site. Just before we set off walking we had a Little Egret flying along the sea wall battling against the strong northwesterly wind. This got us talking about how widespread Little Egrets have become and how we had all twitched out first birds in the 1980s.

As we walked along the top of the embankment adjacent to the River Cocker to get some better views of the ditches we flushed a Greenshank and then we picked some geese up to the east behaving very jittery and attempting to land. When we got better views as they dropped in front of some woodland we could see that they were a flock of 110 Pink-footed Geese. My first of the autumn. In fact later on this afternoon when I dropped some bird food off at Moss House Farm, Phil and I had a flock of 40 Teal going over quite high.

Walking back along the sea wall we had a Peregrine shoot low over the field, flushing lapwings, before it plunged over the sea wall and across the marsh.

I'm not out tomorrow as I have a day of folk music at Fleetwood Folk Festival, but weather permitting should be out again on Sunday.

2 comments:

Newton Stringer said...

Oh yes !! Them RSPB lads have got their heads screwed on you know !!

Churrr, churrr, churrr..... that's my willow tit....

Fleetwood Birder said...

I have to agree there!