Friday, 22 April 2011

Plan C

Plan A; ringing at Rossall
Plan B; ringing at Rossall and if it is quiet move to the Nature Park
Plan C; if it is too windy at Rossall try the nature Park

These were the options we considered after watching the forecast last night. There was a good chance it would be both quiet at the 'obs' and too windy. When we arrived at 0515 straight away we knew it would be far too windy so we headed to the Nature Park.

Ian promised me roosting White Stork at the Nature Park and he delivered! Yesterday evening he had been birding on the Wyre estuary and had found a 1st summer White Stork. Towards dusk it flew towards the old recycling centre and perched up on some gantry to roost. The picture below shows the bird roosting on the gantry as we drove onto the nature Park in the half light. By the way all the pictures of the Stork are what I would call record, record shots as I only had my 'point and shoot' camera with me! Shortly after we got out of our cars the Stork flew off heading southeast.

White Stork on its overnight roost

We just put two 40' nets up in the reeds below the car park and waited. The ringing session ended up being fairly short as we only ringed 5 birds as follows: Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 Reed Buntings and a Wren. We recaptured a Sedge Warbler that had been ringed here in July 2010.

 Grasshopper Warbler

Grasshopper Warbler; under-tail coverts

The Stork would make a further two appearances during the morning and each time its presence was alerted to us by the alarm calling Gulls. The first time it reappeared it was back on 'its' gantry and the second time it landed on a lamp post towards the docks. See pictures below. Each time it landed it would do some loud bill-clappering which carried surprisingly far. When it left after it's second reappearance it headed off towards the saltmarshes on the estuary.

 Back on it's gantry perch

On a lamp post

In 'our' section of reedbed there seemed to be about 3 singing Sedge Warblers and 2 singing Reed Warblers. Chiffchaff and Whitethroat sang from some scrub and it or another Grasshopper Warbler was 'reeling' away all morning with a second bird reeling to the south.

We had a few birds over including 9 Meadow Pipits, 5 Lesser Redpolls and 6 Whimbrel. Out on the pools were a pair of Coot with 5 large young!

After we packed up I called in at the cemetery but it was quiet here other than 4 Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff and a Garden Warbler singing in full view.

The forecast looks good for some mist netting in the morning and there is the chance of some over night rain. Just what the migration Doctor ordered!

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