Saturday, 30 January 2010

Numbing Nothing Northerlies

It was good to be back at Rossall Point this morning after an absence of a couple of weeks. I haven't been able to get to Rossall because I have been busy ringing, so I am not complaining. However, I am going to complain about the wind direction because it was useless and bloody cold!

It even looks cold!

Just as I was getting out of my car at the car park Ian turned up and together we walked down to the Coastguards Tower. On the way we had a male Stonechat perched on the golf course fence, but it was too cold to linger in the biting northerly wind. At the Coastguards Tower we had to stand at the front of the tower as it was less windy here than at the sides.

On the shore 270 Oystertcatchers roosted, the majority on one leg to reduce heat loss, and 53 Sanderling fed frantically along the tide line. Turnstone flashed east, presumably heading to the Marine Lakes to feed and we had a single Grey Plover. Interestingly the Grey Plover at first looked like a Golden Plover through bins as there was bright light and the golden colour of the sand was being reflected on to the grey plumage of the Grey Plover.

Out on the sea it was fairly quiet and you got the impression that it was one of those days that if you stayed there all day diver numbers would still be in single figures! Twelve Red-breasted Mergansers commuted in and out of the 'bay' and only 22 Eiders bobbed up and down on the northerly swell.

Only two Red-throated Divers flew east and they looked fantastic as the light picked up their dark upperparts and contrasted it with the pale underparts. Two Common Scoters and three unidentified Auks and that was it. With no feeling in my hands, feet or face I staggered back to the car park.

On the way home I called in at Fleetwood Marsh Dog Toilet, sorry Nature Park, to have a look on the pools.

In total on all three pools I had twelve Tufted Ducks, three Shovelers, 25 Coots, three Little Grebes and a male and two female Gadwalls.

Male Gadwall - honest!

The only other birds of note were two calling Reed Buntings and a Skylark singing it's heart out in the bright sunshine.

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