It was Lane Ends for me this morning, straight to the action with no messing about at Patch 2 Ridge Farm like yesterday. A good night’s kip and staying off the common cold medicines left me feeling a lot better.
It’s impossible to go down Wheel Lane at the moment and not take a peek at how the Pink-footed Geese are doing; the sheer noise from the throng draws you in, never mind the spectacle of 20,000 geese going about their early morning business of leaving the roost in search of daytime food then heading back out again en masse at the merest hint of trouble.
On the way to Lane Ends I stopped along Backsands Lane and looked on the partly flooded field where I counted about 250 Lapwings and just 2 Golden Plover amongst them but no sign of the Ruff or Black-tailed Godwits from last week.
It was another clear morning, a touch of haze and a stiff wind again from east to west. So whilst easterlies are good for bringing the odd scarcity, the direction doesn’t necessarily bring huge numbers of birds. As I walked to Pilling Water so it was, with overhead a number of just visible but audible Chaffinch, a single Reed Bunting, 2 or more Siskin close to the plantation plus 3 alba Wagtail a little way out from the wall. Towards Pilling Water I pushed 8 Skylarks from the dense grass of the sea wall, with more Meadow Pipits than of late maybe 30 in total, together with 14 Goldfinch, 8 Linnets and the inevitable Wheatear, but only one today. Also inevitable were the 5 Little Egrets, but not the single Grey Heron a species which has been remarkably low in numbers around here lately.
Grey Heron Goldcrest Coal Tit
There was a little activity in area of the wildfowler’s pools as in turn 18 Teal and 15 Pintail flew off the shooter’s ditches and out to the marsh. I also watched a large female Sparrowhawk fly fast and low across the inland field, hugging the ground before it followed the contour of the sea wall up then over the other side where it no doubt surprised some hapless pipit or lark.
Back home I hoped I would be doing the last grass cut of the year, and as I took a breather in the afternoon sun I heard both Coal Tit and that rarity Goldcrest in next door’s garden. It was December 2008 that I last ringed a Goldcrest, so scarce have they become following two cold winters then a dearth even of spring and autumn migrants. So I finished the garden tidy-up and caught a couple of birds. Now I’m really in the mood for Tuesday when the wind will both drop and turn a touch more northerly allowing Redwings to arrive in force.