Saturday, 18 September 2010

Scoter Watching

It's amazing how different the weather can be between two sites in the Fylde. This morning when I arrived at Rossall Point at 6.30 a.m. the wind was 15 mph WNW and there was no way I could have got any mist nets up at the obs. On the other hand just 8.5 miles (14 km) away at one of our ringing sites on Rawcliffe Moss, Phil and Will managed to do some ringing as the wind was nothing but a southeasterly breeze. Also unusually, there were more birds around at this inland site. See for details.

Back to Rossall. As you've heard me mention many times on here before, when there is a northerly element in the westerly wind seabird passage is usually virtually nil. Why bother then when I already know this I hear you ask? I suppose it's because there was a tide, it's one of my local patches and it's autumn and you never know!

As the tide ran in a few waders fed in front of my position alongside the Coastguard's Tower and these included 65 Oystercatchers and 47 Sanderlings. Interestingly Wyre Borough Council are intending to waste a huge amount of money in constructing some sort of hideous cafe/information centre/ bird hide next to the Coastguard's Tower. They would be better spending the money to zone the beaches to provide safe nesting areas for Ringed Plovers and roost sites for migrating and wintering waders. I think the main reason for this new building is to provide offices with a 'sea view' for Wyre Borough staff and provide somewhere for all the idiots with pooches who disturb the birds to meet and have a coffee to discuss the latest matters concerning all things 'doggy'!


As expected the sea was very quiet other than Common Scoters and I had 602 in total. They were very difficult to count and there could be a little duplication in my figures, but they were mainly all heading in an easterly direction into the bay so I think the numbers are fairly accurate.

A few Auk sp.'s flew into the bay and the only 'proper' seabird was a westerly heading Sandwich Tern. I then bobbed into Fleetwood Cemetery for a quick look, but I didn't expect many migrants if any. I had a Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and four Swallows and that was it. I took a few snaps in the cemetery and you can see the results below.

 Crane Fly

Herring Gull - juv


I then moved onto Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park where another local authority, Lancashire County Council, has wasted a 'shed load' of money by re-surfacing the pedestrian areas of the car park with a non-slip surface. No money has been spent on habitat management, so it would seem that the priority is to 'pander' to the needs of the dog walkers and encourage them to further mess the site up with an increase in dog shit and more mutts to disturb the wildlife! I must say that the ranger service try their best, it is the officers and councillors that are misguided and only provide 'lip service' to conservation.

I heard the most ridiculous name for a dog here today. A rather large gentleman got out of his car that was adorned with all sorts of pink items, including pink seat covers, and proceeded to put a pink lead on a fluffy white poodle. I heard him calling his dog and it's name was 'Huffle Puff'!!! Yes, I'll say it again 'Huffle Puff'. The mind boggles!

Did I see any birds? On the pools were 13 Tufted Ducks, 24 Coots and a Little Grebe. Thirty Pink-footed Geese headed south and 7 Skylarks arrived from the east. With all the disturbance from dog walkers they wouldn't be able to rest and feed for any time at all. Fifteen House Martins also arrived at a similar time and then headed off south.

 Roosting Herring Gulls

The wind is veering west-southwesterly tonight, although some rain is coming in, so depending on visibility it could be better on the sea tomorrow. As always I'll let you know.

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