Thursday, 1 October 2015

Super Supercill

It is the start of Lytham Beer Festival at teatime today and what has that to do with birding I can hear you say? The fact that it is the start of the beer festival and also the fact that I like to make an appearance shortly after it opens (I can sample a few beers early doors and be fit to get out birding early the following morning that way) meant that I didn't go out ringing at the Obs this morning. Instead I gave Gail a lift to work so I could pick her up and drive on to the beer festival. That way I have a designated driver for the return journey! After I dropped Gail off I headed to the Obs just to do some birding.

I met Ian in the cemetery and a couple of years ago when we birded together at this time of year in the cemetery we found a Golden Oriole. We didn't expect anything quite as good as that this morning but a Yellow-browed Warbler was on the cards as Ian had found one at the Mount yesterday.

The YBW that Ian found yesterday materialised with a cloud bank rolling in from the east, but this morning it was crystal clear and not really the sort of morning for a grounded migrant. However with so many YBWs in the northern isles (76 on Fair Isle earlier in the week and they ringed 40 of them!) it is possible for one or two of these Siberian waifs to turn up anywhere under any conditions at the moment.

We came across some calling Coal Tits and counted them as they moved from tree to tree; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Yellow-browed! Five Coal Tits zipped past in front of us with a YBW hot on their heels. The Coal Tits moved back again in the direction they had come from but the YBW hung around in front of us for a short while and just long enough to get some photographs below. They are indeed record shots but you can tell it is a YBW, just look at that super supercill!

The YBW moved south along the edge of the cemetery and it was then lost from view. The only other grounded migrant in the cemetery was a single Goldcrest.

I then moved on to the Mount and gave it a good grilling. It felt like there should be another YBW lurking amongst the party of five Coal Tits, Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests but there wasn't. The ivy in here was attracting a lot of butterflies and there was easily 70 Red Admirals, 15 Small Tortoiseshells and three Commas nectering on the ivy flowers, plus huge numbers of bees.


 Red Admiral

Small Tortoiseshell

Speckled Wood

There was some vis this morning in the form of 15 Meadow Pipits, nine Alba Wags, 263.Pink-footed Geese, three Skylarks, a Snipe and a Grey Wagtail.

 Pink-footed Geese

It is going to be relatively calm tomorrow so I will try and return to the Obs with mist nets for a ringing session even after a few jars at the beer festival!

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