Saturday, 27 September 2014


The weather at the Obs this morning started off at six oktas cloud cover before clearing completely and then after a couple of hours a cloud bank came in from the southwest leading to full cloud cover. The wind was southeasterly, fairly light at first, but then increasing to a good ten mph.

Before I go on to what I had on my walk round the Obs this morning I thought I would say a few words about the 'Obs'. When I refer to the Obs I am referring to the recording area around Fleetwood, Lancashire where Ian and I record bird observations on a daily basis. Well Ian does and I just get out when I can! We refer to this recording area  as Fleetwood Bird Observatory (FBO) and the daily sightings of FBO can be found HERE 

Although not an official bird observatory affiliated to the BTO the Fleetwood peninsula has been operated like a bird observatory for many years. Migration monitoring through sea watching, ringing, searching for grounded migrants and monitoring of visible migration takes place on a daily basis. The recording area consists of a number of sites and a range of habitats can be found within the recording area including coastal grassland, scrub, sand dunes, shingle, open sea, saltmarsh, reedbeds, hedgerows, broad-leaved woodland, mudflats and freshwater pools. Rather than refer to the individual numerous sites found within the recording area it is just easier for the purposes of my blog to refer to these sites as the 'Obs'. I just thought I would explain this as I realised that I hadn't explained this before! Over on the right below the Fylde Ringing Group totals you will see a Google Earth image of the recording area to hopefully give you a better idea of the Obs location.

Back to this morning. It was quite cold this morning and the vis was slow to start, but when it did there was a good variety and it was really interesting. Perhaps the most interesting species of the morning were the Jays. Jays are a rare and infrequent breeder within the Obs recording area with only one pair breeding infrequently (this is the same for all woodland species), so this morning's sightings almost constituted an invasion! In total I had thirteen birds head south: flocks of six, three and four respectively.

 Jay over the dunes (honest!)

The remainder of the vis included 185 Meadow Pipits, 15 Reed Buntings, a Tree Sparrow, four Starlings, 40 Pink-footed Geese, 37 Linnets, 30 Skylarks, 42 Alba Wagtails, four Chaffinches, eleven Carrion Crows, five Jackdaws, 20 Goldfinches, a Rock Pipit, two Sand Martins, a Sparrowhawk, a Grey Wagtail and four Swallows.

 Reed Bunting

Grounded migrants were very thin on the ground and the only 'thing' I could say was grounded was a single Song Thrush. The sea was quiet, but part of that was because I was looking skywards, and all I had was a single Wigeon and four Common Scoters.

The wind is going to be relatively light tomorrow so I am planning to be out ringing at the Obs and I'll let you know how I get on.

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