Saturday, 23 February 2013

Coming and Going

Ian gave me today's blog post title when we were seawatching this morning and he commented that for some species moving it was difficult to tell what they were doing as they were 'coming and going'! Some would head east in to the bay, in a Spring movement direction, and then some would be moving west out of the bay!

It was bitterly cold in the northeasterly wind and there were the occasional snow flurries too, adding to the cold feeling. Later in the morning a guy stripped off into his swimming shorts and headed in to the sea for a swim! Watching him, made  us feel really cold. He must have been mad!

Rewinding back to first light I had ten Greenfinch exiting a roost in some privet as I walked along the footpath to the coast. A flock of 25 Linnets were feeding in the dunes and a male Stonechat gave the morning a Spring feel to it if you ignored the cold. The other passerine highlight was a male Pied Wagtail that headed northeast across Morecambe Bay; a definite migrant.

Numbers of waders on the shore were limited to 118 Oystercatchers and 125 Sanderlings. The Sanderling numbers building up again after their recent disturbance. 

The sea was where all the action was, although it was slow to start with. Eiders riding the waves numbered 37 and 28 Common Scoters moved east and west in and out of the bay in small groups. Red-breasted Mergansers were doing something similar and in total Ian made a count of 36 birds in one sweep of his scope.


Some of the 35 Red-throated Divers definitely looked as if they were moving as they were high in the sky and heading east. Some in groups of 4, 5 or 6. It was a bit trickier with the Great Crested Grebes and Shelducks. We had three Great Crests east, six west and one on the sea. Five Shelducks headed in to the bay and ten out.

I then went to feed the Turnstones and about a hundred were coming in to the food, and only ten were leg-flagged suggesting there had been an influx of birds.

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