When I arrived at the farm fields at the southern end of the 'obs' recording area at first light I thought there might be a few birds about based on the fact that there were a number of 'ticking' Robins; how wrong can you be. The wind was a fairly light northeasterly and it looked like it might be raining further east and out to the west over the sea, but over the Fleetwood peninsula there seemed to be a clear slot.
I headed down the track and flushed a Fox from the central field and when it got to the hedge it turned round, sat down and watched me. Something made me turn round and look down the track and there was another Fox sat down looking at me. I just stepped back behind a gate post and the Fox came trotting down the track and stopped when it got fairly close to me. It sat down and it watched me as I watched it. After a few minutes it got a bit bored of this 'looking at each other' game and wandered off over the embankment. Typically I only had my 'point and shoot' camera with me for digiscoping so didn't take any pictures.
I did my usual route along the sea wall, no Wheatears, through the dunes, the reedbed, stopped and 'pished' at the patch of Japanese Rose, but absolutely no birds. I got to my sea watching position, but other than a few Sandwich Terns, a Great Crested Grebe and a Gannet the 'murky' sea was quiet.
Then the skies darkened and a few drops of rain began to lightly fall and House Martins and Swallows started to appear. The numbers built up and I estimated that there were 300 Swallows and 70 House Martins. They were feeding over the fields and then perching on barbed wire fences and Thistle plants. I was just about to take a picture through my scope when they got up in a 'dread' and I assumed there must have been a raptor around, but there wasn't. Within a few minutes they had gone and their departure corresponded with a lightening of the skies.
Heading back to 'work' the hedgerows I had a flock of 30 high flying Redshank heading south and that was the last entry in my notebook.
I headed to the coastal cemetery for a look, but expected it to be quiet and my expectations were realised. Ian arrived and the heavens opened so we retired to his house for a pot of coffee and a conversation putting the birding world to rights.
The forecast looks okay for some ringing tomorrow, so fingers crossed, and then bank holiday Monday, well that looks like a right old wet one!
2017 opens with a County First. - A few days back, a birder posted a photo of a Black throated Diver on the Blyth Estuary (Northumberland). When I saw the pic, I thought that it looked a bi...
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