With rain still falling at 6am into the overnight puddles I pulled the plug on the planned ringing trip to the inevitably soggy Rawcliffe Moss. After a leisurely breakfast I headed out for a spot of birding down Pilling way where the grey legacy of the rain still hung over Fleetwood to the west and Heysham to the north.
A break in the cloud cover at Pilling led to a stroll about Ridge Farm, Fluke Hall and Lane Ends before the rain resumed, but it came as no surprise that there was little evidence of visible migration or overnight arrivals. Singles of Fieldfare and Song Thrush seen at Ridge Farm, the first flying steadily east at no great height, the latter exploding from the hedgerow and continuing rapidly east when disturbed by a passing tractor. A search of the fields found c15 Skylark, 6 Meadow Pipit, 2 Snipe, 250+ Woodpigeon, and moving along the hedgerows, two flocks of Long-tailed Tits numbering 26+birds. A party of 10 Whooper Swans fed just inland before being disturbed by farm activity whereupon they flew out to their annual gathering spot on the marsh north of Fluke Hall. Later, more were to join them to make a total of 22 birds, still far short of last year’s counts here of 3/400, but early days yet.
Enormous numbers of geese off Lane Ends/Pilling Water/Fluke this morning, way out on the marsh and beyond, so I made no attempt to estimate their numbers other than to use the very round estimate of 10/15000. About 10am the geese started to climb off the marsh in huge parties and then head south and inland.
Not a lot doing at Lane Ends/Pilling Water with the aforementioned Whooper Swans, 8 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, 38+ Curlew, 50+ Golden Plover, 1 Peregrine, 80 Lapwing, 2 Snipe and 1 Kestrel.
Passerines here were limited to a number of probably recently arrived Chaffinches contact calling in the trees, a few Meadow Pipits on the edge of the marsh, and upwards of 15 Skylarks.
The weather for Sunday’s looks decidedly uncertain, but whatever its like Another Bird Blog will be here tomorrow, so be sure to tune in for the latest news and pictures.