Monday, 20 February 2012

Departing 'Pinkies'

I had an hour or so to spare this morning before having to face a day stuck in the office writing reports, so I headed to the Point to see if there was much on or moving over the sea. At first light there was near complete cloud cover with a brisk and cold southwesterly wind.

The only real notable movements this morning were that of Pink-footed Geese heading north over Morecambe Bay; in total I had 404 in four skeins. I was a bit surprised because the visibility wasn't all that good, but maybe from their altitude it was better and the southwesterly wind would allow them to cover more ground and expend less energy.

On the shore there were few waders and the only half reasonable count was that of 275 Oystercatchers. Two Grey Plovers were nice as I never tire of seeing these beautiful waders. My photo below doesn't do them justice at all. I like them even in winter plumage, but in full summer plumage I think they are even better than 'Goldies'.

All the sea would give up was 97 Eiders, 18 Cormorants, 8 Common Scoters and 5 Red-breasted Mergansers.

I then headed to the Marine Lakes to feed the Turnstones in preparation for a potential ringing session tomorrow, weather permitting. The following pictures depict the process of feeding the 'Terry's'.

When you start putting some food out a few appear over the bank

They come a little closer

 Then a few Starlings or a Black-headed Gull take an interest

They start running down the slope to the food

Something spooks them and they run away

Eventually the Turnstones start to feed!


PCF said...

Great stuff. Perhaps you can rename them Trainedstones. Do you shoot a net over them or do they lie on their backs with their legs in the air?

Stringer said...

Hi Seumus

Pinkfeet moving over on this side too !

Fleetwood Birder said...

Hello PCF, Trainedstones; I like that! Yes, we use a whoosh net which is a net fired/propelled by bungee elastics. Cheers, Seumus