Friday, 27 November 2009

A Change Of Scene

I have to warn you that I am going to have a rant shortly about f*cking dog walkers and their dogs at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park! Anyway, more of that in a moment. It wasn't really a change of scene this morning because Rossall Point is one of my local patches, but it certainly felt like that as I hadn't been there for a while.

As I pulled into the car park I could see Ian walking along the top of the dunes. By the time I had caught up with him at the Coastguards Tower he had been seawatching for about three or four minutes and had a Bonxie fly west just before I got there! I set up next to Ian and started to watch but it was fairly quiet. Nine Eiders, single Kittiwake, 14 Common Scoters, Great Crested Grebe and two Red-breasted Mergansers and that was it!

A few waders came back to feed on the falling tide including 140 Oystercatchers, 330 Knots and 30 Turnstone. As we were seawatching Barry joined us and shortly afterwards Ian had to leave. The only birds Barry and I had after Ian left was a flock of 15 Whooper Swans that flew west over the golf course.

There were literally hundreds if not thousands of Gulls on the beach all spread out from Cleveleys to Fleetwood, feeding presumably on food washed ashore by the recent gales, like star fish for example. We had a scan through the Gulls but couldn't locate the adult Glaucous or Yellow-legged Gulls that Ian had seen yesterday. I do emphasise the word 'scan' and not 'grill' as there were just far too many for me to grill.

I then moved onto Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park and this is where I had a minor altercation with a dog walker. Anyway, before more on that, below are some serene pictures of the Nature Park.

Main Pool

Causeway Between the Pools

Shallow Pool

Views Towards Bowland

I had a look on the main and shallow pools and had three Mute Swans, 27 Coots, four Shovelers, two Pochards, 13 Tufted Ducks and 10 Mallards. I then went to have a look on the artificial pools as the wildfowl can be close and there are good opportunities to photograph them as well as Gulls and the picture below shows what greeted me!

Two large f*cking dogs chasing the Mute Swans across the pool and being encouraged by their halfwit owners! I photographed their unruly hounds and made sure that they got an eyeful of me scoping them.

Anyway I calmed down, a bit, and they started to walk round the pool towards me after getting their mutts out of the water. I had decided that I wouldn't speak to them as there was no way I could be courteous and hoped that they didn't speak to me as that would be 'red rag to a bull'. Can you imagine my amazement when one of the owners (bloke) said to me "have you seen anything interesting?" I was apoplectic and replied "I might have done if your f*cking dogs weren't swimming around the pool". I then went on to tell them in no uncertain terms that it wasn't a dog swimming pool and it was a nature park not a f*cking dog park. Anyway, they didn't reply (wise move on their behalf), walked off and I tried to photograph the Black-heads on the pool.

I called at my feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss this afternoon and the flood water was back with a vengeance. Between Fleetwood and the Moss I had called at home and left my camera behind so I couldn't take any pictures of the flooding. If you think back to the pictures I showed last week, well it was twice as bad today, in fact it was like one large lake that swept across both sides of the road. I picked up the seed and managed to drive through the flood to the track to the feeding station that was soggy, muddy, but not under water.

As I walked down the track along the hedge a few thrushes, nine Blackbirds and three Fieldfares, flew along in front of me and I had cracking views of two calling Buzzards soaring on a week thermal in the sunshine. At the feeding station 195 Tree Sparrows were present with a single Reed Bunting and only a handful of Chaffinches. Back at the barn there were 20 House Sparrows in the hedge opposite the buildings.

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