I started at Lane Ends this morning where as I arrived a Barn Owl was caught momentarily in the car headlights as it hunted over the sea wall; the owl paused on a fence post before flying off west towards Pilling. In the half-light I counted 42 Little Egrets out of the island roost but didn’t hang around to watch the pink-feet leave. Counting the geese off the marsh can be a couple of hour’s job, especially when there are so many.
When I returned later after a quick look at Conder Green there were still 7 or 8 thousand geese about, so goodness knows what the total numbers are at the moment, but enough to attract the shooter’s cars to Gulf Lane.
Pink-footed Geese - "pinkies"
Conder Green has certainly gone off the boil with just 4 Snipe, 55 Teal and 2 Little Grebe this morning. An overflying Raven seems to be something of a regular sight just here lately. Two Reed Bunting, 2 Pied Wagtail and 7 Meadow Pipits added to the meagre haul.
It was then back to Pilling for a walk to Pilling Water and Fluke Hall. There are good numbers of wildfowl on the wildfowler’s pools, a good spot to wait for the Teal spooking off, to watch their flying abilities and maybe get a picture of them. I didn’t get much of a chance today when all I heard was the rush of wings in hurried flight as hundreds of Teal came over my head, the ducks pursued by an equally rapid and determined Peregrine.
The Peregrine didn’t catch, at least not in the few seconds I glimpsed it before it shot over the sea wall and out towards the marsh. I saw it again later getting a taste of its own medicine from Carrion Crows. Peregrines are a daily occurrence about here with the views for birders mostly distant and fleeting, the raptor sticking to the distant marsh and tideline where most of its food is found.
Carrion Crow and Peregrine
Other wildfowl/waders - 300+ Wigeon, 3 Golden Plover, 400+ Lapwing with other raptors being a Sparrowhawk and a circling Buzzard. Small stuff today came in the shape of a Kingfisher fishing Broadfleet, 40+ Skylarks, 2 Linnet, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Wheatear and a tiny number of Meadow Pipits, less than ten.
The pipits and the chats are both near the end of their autumnal movement, the Skylarks perhaps continuing for a while yet. The Meadow Pipit picture I took earlier in the week, the Wheatear today, in the spot where both species can consistently be found.
Another Bird Blog links today to Camera Critters and Anni's Blog. Check them out for more birds and All Creatures Great and Small.