Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Right Ingredients

I got up at 6.30 a.m. and had a bit of a dilemma. Do I go to Rossall Point and then on to Rawcliffe Moss to feed the Tree Sparrows, or do I go to Rawcliffe Moss first? In the end I went to Rawcliffe Moss via my office to fill up my window feeders. I was just leaving my office when I got a text from Ian saying "2 Lap Bunts golf course". This of course referred to Fleetwood golf course and I thought "damn if only I had gone to Rossall first". I made a quick phone call to Ian to see if they were still around and they weren't. A couple of the groundsmen that Ian knows had driven over to the fence between the golf course and the dunes to have a chat with him and flushed the Lapland Buntings out of the rough. This made me feel better knowing that even if I had been at Rossall I probably wouldn't have seen them!

I headed down the feeding track on the Moss and immediately Skylarks were on the move. In total on my walk round I had 69 that were generally milling around in a slight southerly direction! Chaffinch and Meadow Pipits were on the move but I only had 30 and 14 of each respectively.

Two Jays called noisily from Curlew Wood and then the Tree Sparrow throng added to the noise. It would seem that numbers of Tree Sparrows are starting to build up nicely and I had 87 at the feeding station. There were a few Chaffinch with them and 3 Reed Buntings.

 Blurry Reed Bunt shot

'Pink-feet' were moving around on the Moss and I had 887 in various groups. After all the rain we have had it wasn't surprising that the field immediately behind the feeding station was partially flooded. On the flood was a lone Mute Swan. As I headed away from the feeding station and along the '97' hedge I had a Yellowhammer go over calling.

   Pink-footed Geese flighting in (above and below)

  A few 'Pink-feet' in the 'Big Field'

Mute Swan on the flood

There was very little in the hedge, even though it is laden with Hawthorn and Elder berries, and the next birds I had were a group of 11 Snipe and a Great Spotted Woodpecker heading towards Curlew Wood. Up on the top field I had a couple of Grey Partridges and 10 Linnets circled round the 'cover crop'. It was here that I had singles of Corn Bunting, Golden Plover, Kestrel and Grey Wagtail going over.

As I headed towards the plantation I received a text stating that there was a Yellow-browed Warbler at Heysham and it had joined a party of Long-tailed Tits. On my way home I thought I would check my favourite local Yellow-browed site, which is Fleetwood Cemetery. In recent years I have seen three there (finding two of them), so I thought it would be a good bet.

It was very quiet in the plantation other than a party of 64 Goldfinch that dropped in to feed. The only other birds I recorded on my walk back were 3 Teal flying over.

I called in at the cemetery and did my usual circuit. Along the south side all the ingredients were there for a Yellow-browed in terms of birds for it to tag along with as I had 6 Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and a smattering of Blue and Great Tits, but alas no Yellow-broweds. Perhaps another day!

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