It was yet another murky, grey and overcast start today, the third such day on the trot, conditions which are far from ideal for studying the autumn’s visible migration, so today's post definitely has something of a a grey theme about it.
In the past few days I’ve noted a trickle of Meadow Pipits, an obvious influx of Chiffchaffs and for me at least a noticeable movement of Skylarks. Today I gave Conder Green some serious stick without turning very much up and then finished off with a look at Lane Ends, Pilling. Through the gloom of Conder Pool I could see that the numbers of Little Grebe had increased to 11 birds; the site has become something of a winter stronghold for the species in recent years. There are six grebes in the photo below, the camera taking the picture at ISO4000 after I set the ISO speed to “auto” to account for the gloom.
Also on the pool, 4 Wigeon, 3 Cormorant, 5 Little Egret and 8+ Teal. I waited for the Kingfisher to appear and although it obliged, that picture was also taken at ISO4000 - not good. The second picture was taken in exactly the same spot on a much brighter morning some months ago. The moral is perhaps to forget photography on such dim and gloomy days.
The roadside creeks held a single Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4 Curlew, 1 Lapwing, 18 Redshank, 1 Ruff, and another 25 Teal. “Bush bashing” along the old railway path turned up a single Chiffchaff, several Robins and a couple of calling Chaffinch, not much evidence of new arrivals. It was good to find a large flock of Goldfinch, at least 140 birds along the edge of the marsh but very flighty between there and the tall trees beyond the car park.
At Glasson I counted the wildfowl on the yacht basin - 80 Coot and 25 Tufted Duck, plus the obligatory Grey Heron. Two Grey Wagtails here were the only signs of new arrivals.
I arrived at Lane Ends in time to see many noisy skeins of Pink-footed Geese heading back out to the marsh - no doubt disturbed from a feeding spot inland by farming activities. At least 1400 birds, without counting those distant on the marsh which didn't set off inland at dawn.
On the east pool, the only open water now visible, 7 Shoveler and a single Little Grebe. Otherwise, 2 Meadow Pipits and a single Grey Wagtail below the sea wall plus a Great-spotted Woodpecker and 2 Jays in the woodland.
More news and colourful pictures soon from Another Bird Blog.