Sunday proved a quiet morning with not a great deal of new stuff following a couple of hours trawl around local spots.
When I arrived at Knott End the tide was in but hadn’t brought much in the way of variety: 700 Oystercatchers, 190 Redshank, 6 Turnstone and 4 Knot the sum of the waders, unless you count a Grey Heron wading through the water. When all the birds panicked, the Oystercatchers running back towards the safety of the water’s edge and the Redshanks flying off upriver, I knew a Peregrine was about. The Peregrine appeared from the Preesall direction then made a single pass and turn above the beach before thinking better of it and heading north. Best photo I could get into the sun and in the ten seconds the bird gave me.
Passerines were even harder to find, the Pied Wagtail with a gammy leg first noted here last winter, and 2 Goldfinches on the Niger seed I’d left recently in the hope of keeping the Twite happy, but no sign of them.
I decided to give the Fluke Hall environs a try and it proved quite productive in terms of species if not numbers. Towards Ridge Farm the Greenfinch flock has expanded to 100+, the Skylarks and Meadow Pipits to 15+ and about 10 respectively, with 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Pied Wagtail, 10+ Tree Sparrow and a Little Egret.
In the wood I heard the call of a Brambling from the tree tops, couldn’t locate the bird in the autumn leaves, but did manage to see a single Mistle Thrush, 2 Fieldfare, 12 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Nuthatch, a Song Thrush, 200 Jackdaws and 50+ Wood Pigeon. For anyone unsure of a Brambling’s autumn contact call, click on the Xeno Canto button to hear one. For those who wonder why birders seek out Bramblings, there’s a photograph below from a year or two back.
On the extremely wet fields between Fluke and Lane Ends I counted 40+ Redshank, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 800 Lapwing and 18 Whooper Swans. There’d been a lot of Whooper Swans flying either inland towards the mosses or back out to the marsh. As I arrived at Lane Ends, JR told me of 300+ whoopers from a dawn start, together with a count of 10,000+ Pink-footed Geese. Good work Jean.
That was the end of my morning apart from heading back via Pilling Moss where I noted 3 Kestrelwhich included a pair together, 900 Woodpigeon, 2 Yellowhammer and some of the Whooper Swans out on a distant flood.
Back home and picking up apples from the garden for freezer storage and hopefully garden thrushes, I noticed a hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus snuffling through the fallen leaves. I’m not sure when hedgehogs are meant to hibernate but soon I guess. Me I’ll just hibernate to somewhere warm for a few weeks in January, better than spending two or three months under a pile of old logs.