Sunday, 18 January 2015

Northerly Pinkies

At last I got out birding this morning and it was a glorious frosty morning with a light northeasterly wind. I headed to the Point and positioned myself at the end of the dunes to have a look on the sea. The sea was actually very quiet and not as clear as you would expect for a cold frosty day, as there was quite a bit of murk, particularly in the eastern portion of the Bay.

The main feature of the morning was the northerly movement of Pink-footed Geese. In total I had 310 go north across the western portion of the Bay. The only likely destination for these high flying birds was the Solway Estuary in north Cumbria/south Scotland. In addition to this an adult and a juv. Whooper Swan headed north, but half way across the Bay they 'pitched' on to the sea.

 Pinkies Solway bound?

The only other bits and pieces on the sea were 16 Eiders, three Common Scoters, eight Cormorants, a Red-breasted Merganser, an Auk sp. and a Great Crested Grebe.

Ian and I had to laugh at four birders who appeared looking for the Shore Lark. They asked us if we had seen it and we said that we hadn't been looking for it. Then we heard one of them say "there's only one thing for it we'll have to walk along the beach"! Walk along the beach, the beach had roosting Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers, Turnstones and Sanderlings on it!

Anyway, we watched them walk off and they were stood on the low wall scanning the shingle beach when we heard the Shore Lark calling. It flew directly over their heads calling loudly, and giving a call we hadn't heard before, and they didn't even flinch! Nobody looked up at all! Now, I'm not expecting them to know the call, as I didn't until this bird turned up late last year, but even if you didn't know the call it would certainly stand out as something different and it would make you look up. Not these guys, obviously they weren't tuned in to bird calls at all.

We then headed to the water treatment works to check our feeders at our recently established feeding station and they were virtually empty, so some birds have found them, so fingers crossed for a ringing session soon.

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