Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bitty Vis

Wednesday 26th March, and I let the early sun dissolve a windscreen frost before I set off. The morning turned out not bad for birding although the bright sky and slightly cool northerly airflow with a lack of cloud kept migrant birds high in the sky. 

Highlight of my 3+ hours slot was a small but steady stream of Meadow Pipits heading across Morecambe Bay and a probable influx of Wheatears. 

Lane Ends wasn’t especially wind swept, just enough to keep 6 Little Egrets sitting about in weak sun and the lee of the island. I glimpsed a Little Grebe and heard their trills then through the reed saw a drake Shoveler and I’m pretty sure there’s a female there too. 

Two Chiffchaffs were in song this morning, their repetitive “chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff” surprisingly far-carrying when little else was in voice. The Chiffchaff is almost the ultimate “little brown job” of bird ID, lucky then that its onomatopoeic song helps even a novice birder to identify the species; in the Springtime at least. 

Chiffchaff

 Chiffchaff

Meadow Pipits were on the move here, fives, sixes and more, on the edge of woodland habitat but making off North and over the marsh, a sure sign of decent numbers about. Three hours later my notebook scribbles amounted to 110+ Meadow Pipits, 2 Siskins and 2 Reed Buntings heading into the wind and across the bay towards Heysham. 

Still good numbers of Pink-footed Geese out on the marsh scattered widely and left to right from Pilling to Cockerham with a minimum of 4,000 birds and seemingly no hurry to set off for Iceland.

The Green Sandpiper was at Piling Water again, as were 4 Teal, 8 Shoveler and 2 Little Egrets. The warning calls of Chaffinches alerted me to a Kestrel in the top of the willows, the raptor doing a few circuits and a hover or two before flying back towards Damside. 

 Chaffinch

I found 3 Wheatears moving between the sea wall and Hi-Fly’s land so tried to encourage them to fly to my regular catching spot. They were reluctant to leave the sun and shelter of the southern aspect. I didn’t blame them, the wind was getting up and it was so cold that I relapsed into gloves again, forgot to set the camera to the right aperture and ended up with a very dull shot of a bright male Wheatear - D’oh! 

Northern Wheatear

Hi-Fly’s floods revealed 30+ Lapwing, 40+ Redshank, 1 Little Egret, 4 Oystercatcher and 20+ Shelduck.

There's more news and views soon from Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to  Camera Critters.

11 comments:

Mary Cromer said...

It has been quite the busy week and I am taking some time to relax and ccheck in on my blogging friends. When I was scrolling down and reading, at first I thought I was either seeing, or reading something wrong and then realized oh yes, of course...
Chiffchaff and Chaffinch, 2 totally different birds, got it and what great names for these sweet little souls you captured~

Carole M. said...

that name is so quirky - Chiffchaff - I guess the origins is to do with it's call perhaps?

eileeninmd said...

Adorable birds..Lovely images, Phil!

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas capturas.Un abrazo

Chris Rohrer said...

Subtle colored birds and yet beauties all! I like all the chiffchaff and chaffinch....for me, they are quite unusual names:)

sandyland said...

I love it all but the header is so special to me !!

Rajesh said...

Very cute lovely birds.

carol l mckenna said...

Oh how sweet ~ Wonderful bird photos ~ xoxo

(doggies kisses)

artmusedog and carol

Wally Jones said...

A bird here, a bird there and pretty soon you have a notebook full of sightings!

The quintessential "little brown job" looks quite splendid in your brilliant photograph!

Although you bemoan using the wrong aperture for the Wheatear image, it certainly looks good from here.

I'm happy you had a good day despite less than ideal weather conditions.

Hope your weekend is progressing well, Phil!

Adam Jones said...

Nice to have the Chiffchaff back and singing. Spring is here.

s.c said...

nice to see al that spring birds.I like the pictures.

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