Sunday, 1 August 2010

High Tide Hiccup

This morning should have been a ringing session at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park catching lots of warblers but Ian and I were duped by the high tide! I was just making my flask at 4.30 a.m. when Ian phoned to say had I been outside as it was quite windy. I popped outside, agreed with him and called off our planned ringing session.

As I was up I decided to go birding and headed up to Rossall Point and watched the falling tide. It quickly became obvious that the cause of the wind was the fact that the tide was in and as it dropped so too did the wind! Ah well, I had to make the best of what I was doing..

The wind was northwesterly 2-3 and you will have heard me moaning about this wind direction in the past. Consequently it was very quiet at Rossall with very little seabird passage and few waders. I had 7 Sandwich Terns head west along with 3 Gannets and a couple of Common Scoters and that was it for the sea. I did have a single Shelduck and I wasn't sure whether this was an early returner from moulting grounds on the Waddenzee or an adult that had delayed departure due to still having dependant young.

The only waders I had were 181 Oystecatchers, 4 Curlews and 11 Dunlins. As the tide dropped a number of Gulls loafed on the beach and these were mainly Herring Gulls with a few Lessers mixed in.

I then went to the Nature Park and the fact that it was fairly calm by now only served to rub it in even more that we had missed a potentially good ringing session. Driving down to the site I came across a Kestrel on the side of the road feeding on mammalian prey. I reached for my camera, but unfortunately I only managed to get the silhouetted shot below.

Two Foxes were fairly interested in having a look at me as I approached, but soon disappeared into the brambles when I got really close. I was greeted by about 15 'gate guardian' Swallows as they perched on the 'overhead' barrier at the entrance to the Nature Park.

A few Swifts were feeding over the pools but I couldn't tell how many there were as I just kept seeing two at a time. Out on the pools were 2 Mute Swans, 8 Little Grebes, male Pochard, 5 Tufted Ducks, 34 Mallards, 18 Coots and 4 Moorhens.

As has been the 'norm' over recent weeks a Barn Owl hunted over the long grass of the adjacent landfill site and that brought to a close a fairly uneventful morning.

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