Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dogs and Wheatears Don't Mix

Do dogs and any birds mix? Don't get me started on dogs before I have even started! More of that later.

This morning Ian and I had another ringing session at Rossall School in the hope of picking up a few more summer migrants at the 'obs'. At first light it was clear with a very light southeasterly breeze, but within an hour this had picked up to at least 10 mph. The usual four nets were put up and we ended up ringing seven birds that included three new species for the 'obs' in the form of Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and two female House Sparrows. In addition to these species we ringed 3 Blackbirds and retrapped a Great Tit.

Great Tit

House Sparrow

Lesser Whitethroat

Sedge Warbler

There were one or two grounded migrants around in addition to those ringed including 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, 8 Wheatears and single Willow Warbler.

Vis has certainly quietened down and all we had were 2 Tree Pipits, 9 Meadow Pipits, 5 Whimbrel, 4 Pink-footed Geese, 14 Swallows, 4 Lesser Redpolls and a Sand Martin.

After we had packed up ringing I called at Fleetwood Cemetery to see if there were any migrants. It was very quiet other than a single Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and two Lesser Redpolls and a Siskin feeding together on tree buds.

Woodpigeon in the cemetery

I then moved on to Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park and dropped in on a twitch! Now, you'll be wondering what species was the cause of all this excitement. Was it a rare Pipit, a Shrike perhaps? No it was a.............Whinchat, or should I say Whinchats! Yep, the year listers were out in force twitching a Whinchat that had been put out on the pager. Madness! By the way of an explanation here; I don't own a pager, never have done and never will do. I knew it was on the pager as a birder told me it was.

Just look at the photograph below. Absolutely disgusting. I am not blaming the local authority here, but all those 'numpties' that deposited their pooches bags of sh*t. Can't they see that the bin is full. I won't talk about it any more or I'll start swearing.

Take it home you filthy a*seholes

This is where I found out that dogs and Wheatears don't mix. I had palanned to try and catch a few Wheatears on the large rocks that surround the artificial pool and I had caught a male (below) and a female before a 'Neanderthal' with two large black dogs decided that the pool was a swimming pool for his pooches and he spent the next ten minutes shouting and throwing balls into the water. As you can imagine the Wheatears scattered in all directions and weren't going to come back while that idiot was there.

I saw the Whinchats along with 8 Wheatears and had 2 Tree Pipits go over. Back home I checked my moth trap and had 3 Early Greys, Common Quaker, 2 Hebrew Characters and a Herald.

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