It wasn’t the most encouraging morning for a walk along Pilling sea wall when soon after setting off the grey sky turned to a steady drizzle, but within 15 minutes I seen a Kestrel, another “Gold Top” Marsh Harrier and a Wheatear.
The harrier was another tideline job, just like the one of Thursday, last seen heading south and west close to Fluke Hall. This morning’s bird did just the same, flew over the marsh in a south-westerly direction then over the sea wall and out of sight. The wildfowler’s pools should hold a harrier in thrall for a while but I spent a couple of hours near the pools and the marsh without the harrier reappearing. I’m happy it’s a different bird from Thursday and there’s no doubt that each autumn sees a considerable movement of Marsh Harriers through this area, not all of them noticed by birders.
The Marsh Harrier was distant but I got a bit closer to the Wheatear, another juvenile bird with a wing length of 99mm. Is it really true that the name Wheatear derives from an old descriptive name of “White Arse”?
Next came a Greenshank, 2 Grey Heron and 5 Little Egrets leaving the wildfowler’s pools. That was just before the sun came out when I settled down to watch the tide run in, while some 20 miles away over Morecambe, the Red Arrows did their inimitable stuff.
There were more flying displays from the assembled waders: 600 Curlew, 200 Lapwing, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Golden Plover, 20 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin and 3 Snipe, not to mention 250+ Teal, the unsurpassed fliers of the duck contingent. Other birds out there: 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 7 Cormorant, 14 Shelduck, 20+ Wigeon and 6 Pintail.
Lapwing and Golden Plover
Not to be outdone by Red Arrows or tiny ducks, the resident Peregrine made an appearance by scattering the waders and wildfowl in all directions, just as a second Peregrine flew in. In the autumn time it’s quite common to see two Peregrines out here, sometimes three, birds of the same family which tolerate and even interact together. Not today, the second bird was an interloper, soon chased off in noisy aggression by the resident male, the two clashing almost over my head until the trespasser flew off south.
Peregrine Falcon x 2
Not many passerines to report today with the resident Goldfinch flock sticking at 80+, 4 Linnet, 1 Pied Wagtail and then 3 Wheatear on the walk back to Lane Ends, these in addition to one ringed.
More from Another Bird Blog soon.