Saturday, 31 October 2009

Catch Up

It's been a few days since I last posted and that's because work tends to get in the way of birding. Take last Wednesday as an example. I left the house to get in my car to go to work and I could see it was going to be a cracking morning. Immediately I had 4 Redwings drop out of the sky, re-orientate themselves, and head south. This was quickly followed by 130 Woodpigeons and 30 Jackdaws heading rapidly south, and that was it I was off to work. If only I could have gone birding!

Later in the day I was on a farm between Chipping and Whitewell and had another glimpse of what kind of morning it could have been if I had been able to get out birding proper. Over the farm I had 9 Lesser Redpolls and 3 Siskins and a number of the hedgerows were alive with thrushes; 112 Redwings, 30 Fieldfares and 40 Blackbirds! Ah well you can't get out birding all the time I suppose.

I called at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss on Wednesday and Friday but it was towards dusk and a lot of stuff had gone to roost. Over 50 Tree Sparrows and a Yellowhammer were present, but going on how quickly the food is going down I would imagine that there is a lot more Tree Sparrows than this about.

So, on to this morning and my first mornings proper birding for a week. As there was a tide at 09:15 I decided to go to Rossall Point for a sea-watch and a bit of vis. As usual in my over exuberance I got there too early and had to sit in the car for 10 minutes to allow it to become light enough to bird. I was going to say that tomorrow I will get up ten minutes later but on the latest forecast I could be having a lie in.

In the early morning gloom a few Redwings called overhead and 129 Black-headed Gulls fed in the field behind the car park. Out on this grass recreational field was a single Snipe that was doing its best to look invisible by pressing itself low to the ground! Up onto the dunes and there was a bit of vis going over. First over were 3 Alba Wags heading west closely followed throughout the morning by 23 Meadow Pipits, 16 Chaffinches, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Grey Wagtail and Rock Pipit.

It was very murky out at sea and the murk came and went throughout the morning varying from murky to very murky! As usual a few Cormorants went past, today there were 23, and Eiders were conspicuous by their absence and I only had 2 males. I have probably mentioned this before but it would seem that some of the Common Scoters that winter on shell flats have shifted further north and west as we are having more than usual off Rossall. This morning I had 130, which isn't a huge total, but it is respectable for Rossall Point. Two Red-throated Divers heading out of the bay and an adult Med Gull heading in to the bay close in were nice additions for the morning.

I had 75 Pintail go west this morning; a flock of 5 and 75. The other interesting wildfowl were four Whooper Swans that I picked up a long way out at sea and followed as they headed straight towards me on the shore and followed the coast west. As they got close I could see that they were a family party consisting of two adults and two juveniles. Nice!

There were a few waders on the beach including 322 Oystercatchers, 10 Sanderlings, 37 Turnstones and 28 Ringed Plovers.

Sanderling & Ringed P in the murk, or that's my excuse
for a crap picture. The same can be applied to the
Turnstone below!

I had no grounded migrants this morning and the three regular Stonechats have now been moved to the 'over wintering' category.

When I got home as the winds were fairly light I decided to put a net up in the garden and I ringed two each of Dunnock, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

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