Saturday, 27 November 2010

Frozen Obs

Unfortunately the forecast last night for this morning was for a stiff NNE breeze, meaning that it would be too windy for some ringing at the feeding station on Rawcliffe Moss, so I decided to head up to Rossall School instead. Before I report from the 'obs' it is probably worth mentioning that I dropped some seed off at my feeding station yesterday. It was late afternoon when I called so there wasn't the same number of birds as usual as some were heading off to roost.

I had 8 Corn Buntings and 3 of these were actually at the feeding station and this is usually a sign that they have exhausted any natural food locally. There were just 70 Tree Sparrows, 3 Yellowhammers, Reed Bunting and 7 or 8 Chaffinch plus assorted Tits.

On the way home I had a look on the River Wyre at Town End and had 8 Goosanders (2 males & 6 females/immatures).

Back to this morning and there was a very heavy frost as I set off along the track at the obs. I suppose I am quite fortunate in being able to report 'just' a heavy frost when most of the rest of the country has snow! Five or six Blackbird fed around the copse and a group of 7 Goldfinch flew over. As I got half way down the hedge and ditch alongside the track I flushed a Woodcock and a Snipe together. I then had a second Snipe in a wet ditch further on.

 Hard frost at the 'obs'

I didn't have a great deal more until I had a look on the sea. There was a regular passage of Cormorants north and in total I had 148. Where they were going I am not sure. There is a large shingle island that has developed off Rossall and this  now only gets covered on very high tides and in the week Ian had over 300 roosting on here, so they could have been heading there.

 Redshank at the 'obs'

There were a few Eiders on the sea and I also had 24 Common Scoters. I then picked up an adult winter Great Northern Diver heading south, which made it 2 different Great Northern Divers this week as I saw the juvenile on the Marine Lakes on Thursday afternoon. The only other birds of interest were a flock of 7 Teal bobbing up and down on the sea. It isn't uncommon to get Teal on the sea but they always look very out of place.

Talking of Great Northern Divers I decided to have a quick look on the Marine Lakes to see if I could make it 2 in a day but the juvenile had gone! On the lakes I had 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Tufted Ducks and 3 Goldeneyes.

 Black-headed Gull at the Marine Lakes

I was hoping for a ringing session on Rawcliffe Moss tomorrow, but the forecast for inland Fylde is for fog first thing and that combined with -5 degree temperatures makes it not very good for ringng; so I'll just go and feed instead and have a mooch round.

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