Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hot Spots

I decided to hold fire on the ringing until tomorrow when Will is available and the two of us can get more nets up. A spell of dry weather today and overnight means less chance of both our cars and our wellies getting bogged down on the sticky peat too.

So rather than working with nets in the dark I took a leisurely breakfast, waited until daylight then set off on a tour of the hot spots of Knott End, Ridge Farm and Lane Ends.

A count from the jetty at Knott End came in at 140 Redshank, 60 Knot, 40 Turnstone, 1 Eider, 2 Grey Heron, 18 Curlew, 1900 Oystercatcher and 5 Pied Wagtail, with a fly past of 10 Whooper Swans heading east towards the concentration of Whoopers at Pilling.

Turnstone

I followed the Whoopers east towards Pilling where I found the swans out on the marsh off Fluke today, and while I didn’t get to count the flock there were lots of birds. Fluke Hall and Ridge Farm were pretty good this morning, with a nice mixed flock of finches and buntings to look through, 50 Linnet, 10 Greenfinch, 14 Chaffinch and 10+ Reed Bunting. Also along the hedgerows I saw 8 Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush and several Tree Sparrow. I walked back along the sea wall to see 4 Snipe and a Short-eared Owl flushed from the marsh grass by a dog off-lead. A Carrion Crow quickly latched upon the owl, but I was surprised when the owl headed high out towards the shore, next stop Heysham, rather than gliding over the sea wall to relative safety.

Lane Ends to Pilling Water produced in no particular order, 40+ Skylark, 18 Whooper Swan, 12 Meadow Pipit, 1 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 1 Green Sandpiper, 350+ Teal, 12 Wigeon and 1 Reed Bunting.

Kestrel

Teal

As I watched a large flock of several hundred Lapwings 500 yards out on the marsh they were spooked into flight by the Merlin. I then watched the Merlin in hot pursuit of a flying Meadow Pipit, the pipit evading all the Merlin’s many dives and passes, eventually making it to the safety of the trees at Pilling Water. I don’t mind admitting that I wanted to see a successful outcome to that pursuit – in the Merlin’s favour. Other points of view to Another Bird Blog please.

Meadow Pipit

5 comments:

Paco Sales said...

La foto del prado pipit es de gran belleza amigo Phil, una salida provechosa. Un abrazo en un día muy lluvioso en Menorca

Kay L. Davies said...

Well, I'm glad the Merlin didn't win. I'm sure I've told you about Merlins choosing to "dine" in the trees above our deck, and my finding the deck covered in songbird heads and wings and feet. Brrrrrr, I never want to see a sight like that again.
Nevertheless, I'm glad you had a successful day, Phil, and wish Will and yourownself well with the nets tomorrow.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

grammie g said...

"Drum roll please"....Hey Phil...It is me your old buddy old pal from across the pond ...I made it over to see what's up finally and your just doing a leisurely breakfast..you got it wrong though..you get up after daylight and have the leisurely breakfast ; }
Well I used to do it the other way around, but ~~~~
Well it is good to see you are practicing your math numbers ...don't want to get rusty!!
Good luck getting out there at them birds tomorrow, keep those rings handy and don't get tangled up in those nets!!

Grace

Modesto Viegas said...

Good post!!!

Russell said...

Wow! it seems you have very good bird numbers there, which is good to see. I have mixed feelings about the merlin's pursuit. Much like the goshawks here in Niigata -I'm shocked when I see their success but I worry when I see them use a lot of energy without success. Maybe the two met again after some time passed.

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