Sunday, 23 September 2012

Looking Down

This morning Ian and I tried a new ringing site within the obs recording area, although it is a site that we regularly check for grounded migrants and Ian watches for vis from. The site is a small man made hill that overlooks the sea front, with a park to the rear (south) of the hill, and has commanding views over Morecambe Bay, the peninsula to the south and across the Fylde plain to Bowland.

Looking northwest

Looking northeast

Fairly quickly after we had put the nets up it was fairly obvious that there weren't any, or many, grounded migrants and the vis was a fraction of yesterdays. The clear conditions that lasted all day yesterday would have meant that any birds blocked by recent weather conditions would have moved through and overnight clear skies last night would have cleared any grounded migrants out. Tomorrow is still looking like the day for grounded migrants.

The first bird of the morning was an adult Med. Gull that was flying past with some Black-heads and it was quite a novelty to be looking down on birds when I am used to birding on the coast and looking up! There was a trickle of vis and this included 355 Pink-footed Geese, 13 Swallows, eight Alba Wagtails, seven Goldfinch, 16 Chaffinch, five Grey Wagtails, 13 Meadow Pipits, five Linnets and five Greenfinch.

The best bird we had on vis was a juv Marsh Harrier that Ian picked up as it battled east against the stiff southeasterly wind.

I said that we didn't have many grounded migrants, but we did have a male Goldcrest (the only bird we ringed), 15 Pied Wagtails on the bowling greens and a Chiffchaff and Great Spotted Woodpecker that dropped in. It is possible to watch the sea from this location if you set up a telescope and the only 'offshore' birds we logged were two Red-breasted Mergansers flying into the bay.


As I type Pink-footed Geese are continuing to arrive and I keep dashing into my garden to count them. I am going to keep a close eye on the forecast throughout the day because it could be interesting in the morning!

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