Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Not A Yank In Sight......, 8th October 2008

......Well apart from the picture of Barred Owl later on that is! That front that whipped across the Atlantic yesterday certainly did the business in the southwest and in Ireland but not in the avian desert of the Fylde. I suppose that's a bit harsh; the chances of a yanky passerine turning up here because of the geography is very slim! Mind you I wouldn't like to be those Cornish birders trying to sort out that Empidonax flycatcher. I remember from my days at Long Point Bird Observatory in Canada in the 80s those flycatchers were hard enough to separate in the hand!

Anyway I digress, back to this morning. At first light at Rossall Point it was clear with a W 4-5 wind. I decided to have a look on the sea taking into account the wind strength and direction, but surprisingly I was having to try and look skywards as well as there was some vis. The most notable vis of the morning were the Skylarks; I had 48 go south, including a flock of 28 and 9. Other species moving were 40 Meadow Pipits, 10 Alba Wagtails and singles of Brambling (my first for the autumn), Siskin, Reed Bunting and Swallow.

Common Scoters numbered 11 this morning with cracking views of a female circling round over the beach, before heading off west. I had a male Pochard west that was unusual and the usual Eiders numbered only 5 males.

Cormorants numbered 21 and I had a single Shag fly west. I had a few auks; namely 5 I couldn't identify that went down as auk sp. because basically they were just off the Isle Of Man!, and I had a single Razorbill east. Red-throated Divers numbered 5 and I had a surprising 5 Great Crested Grebes as well.

I had one or two late seabirds including single Common and Sandwich Tern, Manx Shearwater and 2 Gannets. Grounded migrants were represented by male Stonechat and that was it.

Ian had been to Mount Park and had Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Coal Tits and Brambling so I decided to have a look in Fleetwood Cemetery on my way home. I had 6 Godcrests, 4 Coal Tits and a single Blackcap. I tried my hardest to find a Yellow-browed but it just wasn't going to happen today.

As I mentioned at the beginning I have included below a picture sent to me of a Barred Owl in the hand taken in Ontario last night. at least it brightens the page up.

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