.... some of them were dreamers, and some of them were fools (Jackson Browne).
But when the weather forecast is as dire as the one for both today and tomorrow, its best to get out there and do some birding before the clouds break.
Knott End seemed a good bet this morning; a walk alongside the golf course where there are trees sheltered from the south easterlies and there would be an incoming tide to watch.
There was a little visible migration with birds arriving from the North West then continuing up river or crossing the golf course heading into the breeze. The movement comprised mostly wagtails, 6 definite Pied Wagtails, i.e. the ones that landed prior to heading off south, another 15 overhead “albas”, and 4 Grey Wagtails which spent time along the jetty before flying off south together. At one point a Sparrowhawk appeared from the golf course then chased a few wagtails into the air before giving up and heading across river to Fleetwood. A small movement of Skylarks too, with 10/12 birds arriving from the north and continuing up river.
A number of Chaffinches, circa 20 arrived from the general direction of the estuary, the birds calling as they dropped into the trees lining the fairway. There’s a good stand of rosehips along here, and I found 6 Greenfinches feeding amongst the bright red fruit. There was a single Wheatear on the shingle below the path plus 2 grounded Meadow Pipits.
There’s usually one or two Grey Heron patrolling the incoming tideline but today I counted 11 of them spaced neatly along the half mile stretch of the river. Grey Herons are patient and solitary feeders.
A good selection of waders, with 2400 Oystercatcher, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 220 Redshank, 140 Curlew and 1 Turnstone. Shelduck are making their way back in some numbers now with a count of 250+, together with the regular 7 Eider ducks at the jetty.
That’s about it really. I took a slow walk through the quiet trees at Fluke Hall, the best I could manage a Jay, Chiffchaff and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.
14.30 hours - and the rains came down. Better luck and more news soon tomorrow on Another Bird Blog? Log in soon to find out.