Saturday, 12 March 2011

No Wheatears Yet

I was at Rossall this morning by first light, but no ringing today as it was too windy, just a walk round the 'obs' to see what was about. I dreamed of an early Wheatear or perhaps a Sand Martin zipping through, but knew this was unlikely because of the weather. However, what we as birders have, is buckets full of optimism!

Plenty of birds were singing and/or displaying including Greenfinch, Wren, Dunnock, Woodpigeon and Skylark. The wind was a fairly brisk southerly and there was some visible migration. I had 12 Siskins go north and then I had an 'off passage' flock of 9. Incidentally, when I got home there were 3 Siskins on my sunflower seed feeder in the garden. Other species on the move included 11 Pied Wagtails, 20 Meadow Pipits, 4 Reed Buntings and Grey Wagtail.

The only grounded migrants I had were a male and female Stonechat. Other than that the hedgerows were very quiet. I had a quick look on the sea and had 4 Eiders and a single Red-throated Diver heading south.

 Gorse in the hedge

I then moved to the cemetery where my eternal optimism was hoping for a Chiffchaff. That wasn't to be but I had some migrants in the form of 5 Redwings feeding amongst the headstones. Three Mistle Thrushes were nice, but that was about it so I headed to the Nature Park.

 Mistle Thrush


The Nature park was, as usual, full of dogs and dog walkers disturbing everything. I also noticed that someone had removed two 'runs' of timber from the wooden fence alongside the artificial pool! Someone had obviously gone to great lengths for this as the timber had been cut off with a saw! There's some real tossers around!

On the pools were 2 Little Grebes, 15 Tufted Ducks, Pochard and 11 Coots. I had a walk into the reeds and willow scrub where we ring and flushed a Woodcock and had 2 Reed Buntings.

 Tufted Duck

It looks like the wind will be quite strong and from the west tomorrow, with the chance of some rain at first light. I might not get out ringing, but hopefully I'll get out birding, because that first Wheatear must surely be just round the corner.

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