The plan this morning was to do some ringing at Rossall School, but when I got up at 06:10 and switched my mobile on there was a text from Phil saying he thought it was too windy. A look out of the conservatory window and the willows did indeed indicate it was breezy and we called it off. Possibly a mistake. However, as I was up I thought I would go to Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park and just put a couple of nets up and try tape, or should I say MP3, luring a few species down.
The ringing was fairly successful in that I ringed 13 birds including single Robin and Reed Bunting, 9 Goldfinches and 2 Reed Warblers. The Reed Warblers were scrutinised hard just to be on the safe side and they were indeed Reed Warblers. I also retrapped one each of Wren, Blue Tit and Dunnock.
It was obvious that there was some vis and I did wonder how much better it would be on the coast and what we might have ringed at Rossall. First up were Grey Wags and I had 9 go south during the morning. When you are trying to ring and bird at the same time you miss an awful lot of what is going over so the totals mentioned here are absolute minimums and there was probably a great deal more.
Meadow Pipits were going over and I had 50 in total. I did try tape luring the Mipits bet they weren't interested in the MP3 Mipit singing next to my mist nets. Alba Wags numbered 22 and 1,101 Pink-footed moved around. I say 'moved around' because some were definitely arriving from the north and heading south and others, particularly early on, looked as though they were coming from a roost on the Wyre.
A few Chaffinch and Skylark went over, and I had 6 agitated calling Reed Buntings. Other birds on the move were 13 Starlings, 10 Woodpigeons, 2 Siskins and a 55 Knots that rocketed south on 'whistling' wings.
Off passage Goldfinch and Linnets moved around the site and I had 59 and 34 of each. Raptors were represented by a thermalling Sparrowhawk and a hovering Kestrel. After I had packed up ringing I had a look on the pools and other than 15 Coots and 217 Herring Gulls they were fairly quiet.
Monday 23rd July 2018 - 1,000 Black-headed Gull were feeding on the reserve early morning on a mass hatch of insects which helps one appreciate how many Black-heads are actually...
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