I was at Knott End this morning, enjoying ten minutes of sunshine before the clouds rolled in from the west. By 1030 when the promised snow arrived as hail, sleet and then rain I had switched the camera to ISO800 for the overcast skies.
The bitterly cold easterly wind had kept many punters in bed, leaving the jetty and the Esplanade reasonably free from walkers and four-legged friends, resulting in a good selection of waders to be seen at close quarters and a few wildfowl on the more distant water: 2500+ Oystercatcher, 270 Knot, 145 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, 24 Turnstone, 50 Redshank and a single Sanderling. On the estuary I noted just 4 Eider and 30+ Shelduck. Passerines came in at just 2 Pied Wagtail, 3 Goldfinch and 60+ Starling. I saw the Black Redstart flying through the gloomy, unfinished rooms of the building site, but didn’t hang about to get more photographs, it was simply becoming too cold.
The redstart is getting quite attached to the confines of the incomplete building but if it finds a mate there may be complications as the builders have stated their intention to restart work on the site soon. I wonder if they know about the Black Redstart and are aware of the fact that the species is classified as a Schedule 1 and so afforded Special Protection? In other words, if the redstart finds a partner and begins a breeding attempt within the building site, legally that should stop any disturbance to the birds, including commencement of building work. We shall see.
Although by now the sleety rain was closing in I drove up to Pilling where along Backsands Lane I found about 500 Pink-footed Geese, 7 White-fronted Geese and in the same field, 2 Snipe crouched in the grass. There was also a Lapwing, probably a male with that elongated crest, and also ringed on the left leg; perhaps one from recent or not so recent years, as Lapwings can live 20 years, almost as long as I have ringed Lapwings about here.