Saturday, 10 November 2018

The River

I apologise for a lack of posts of late dear readers, it's been mainly due to poor weather that I haven't been out. In fact I haven't even managed to get any work surveys in since 2nd November! I had an aborted trip earlier in the week to one of my wintering bird survey sites in Cheshire, but didn't get there because of a complete closure of the M6 southbound between Junctions 21 and 20! I managed to muscle myself off the motorway at J23, and high-tailed it home!

I suppose I could have gone out just for the sake of it, but as we approach early winter autumn migration has slowed down, nearly to a full stop, and birding round here in particular has become hard work. In fact birding in this part of Lancashire gets less pleasurable every year, with more and more people, and more and more disturbance! So all being well the Hairy Birder is likely to be 'upping sticks' and moving north in the not too distant future! How far north really depends on Mrs Hairy Birder! The preferred location for me would be Dumfries and Galloway, but I would say that anywhere from north Lancs, through to Cumbria and onwards to Scotland is a possibility!

Anyway, back to the river. And the river on this occasion was the River Wyre. Earlier in the week Gail and I had to go to Fleetwood to pick up some Birch logs to burn in our wood burner along with some Ash that we had taken a delivery of. I knew that the tide was falling so we decided to have a walk alongside Jubilee Quay on the Wyre. Funnily enough, there is a connection with Whitehaven in Cumbria where I presently have some work in the area, and Fleetwood, as some of the fishing boats from Whitehaven in days gone by used to land their catch at Jubilee Quay.

 Some of the inaccessible quayside is used by Gulls to roost on like this 
Black-headed Gull

On the falling tide waders come in to feed on the freshly exposed mud and it's the first part of the estuary that Black-tailed Godwits feed on at this state of tide, and on this occasion we had 26. Other waders included six Oystercatchers and 44 Redshanks.

 Even though it is silhouetted and it has its back to us, I rather like this 
picture of a black-tailed Godwit

This morning I was back on the Wyre, but a little further upstream, and I had a pleasant walk under the five oktas cloud cover with a stiff southerly breeze. Walking down the path to the estuary I pushed twelve Blackbirds, a Song Thrush and a couple of Redwings from the Hawthorns. I could hear Chaffinches going over on vis, but couldn't see them, but I could certainly see the 36 Woodpigeons that headed east.

 The path down to the river

On the edge of the saltmarsh was a nice flock of 65 Goldfinches that were feeding on the seeds of what looked like Sea Lavender. I had a walk across the saltmarsh to my vantage point where I can see both up and down stream and I put 43 Snipe up.

On the river were 226 Lapwings, 244 Wigeons and 117 Teal. There was probably quite a bit more than this as I could see bits of birds on the edge of creeks and behind mud banks that were impossible to count. Walking back to the main path a Little Egret flew upstream and four Rock Pipits called as they flew around the marsh.

 Little Egret

A quick look on the reservoir revealed 22 Mallards, twelve Coots, five Little Grebes, eleven Tufted Ducks and a male Goldeneye. Other than ten Linnets, three Reed Buntings and a Grey Wagtail on my walk back to the car that was it.

The weather is looking a bit mixed this coming week with perhaps some opportunities to get out at the start and then end of the week. As ever I'll keep you posted!

No comments: