I was back home by 1030 this morning, rained off. Prior to the rain a couple of cool but cloudy hours at Pilling allowed a return walk along the sea wall before I retreated back home to blog.
A Barn Swallow greeted me at Lane Ends, my second of the year but the only one I saw on this overcast and quite breezy morning. There was a Chiffchaff in song, a Reed Bunting too plus a Long-tailed Tit working its way through the trees. Four Little Egrets decorated the pool margins again as a Little Grebe trilled unseen from the mostly hidden pool.
Towards Pilling Water I disturbed a Sparrowhawk from the base of the sea wall, a big female which glided out to the marsh where it disappeared into a ditch and out of sight. If the hawk was hanging about in a wait for passerines there weren’t many; 4 Skylark, 1 White Wagtail, a couple of overflying Linnet and a single Wheatear melting into the rocks. The Wheatear looked fairly bright but I wasn’t sure if it was a “Greenland” type like those of Thursday.
After a while the Wheatear succumbed to a mealworm even though the tiny things barely wriggled in the cold morning wind. This second year male Wheatear turned out to be a typical Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, and at 95mm wing and 23.1 grams, not approaching anything like the weight or measurements of Thursday’s “Greenland” beast. There is an overlap at this time of the year when different races of Wheatears pass through North West England but heading to a variety of destinations.
Northern Wheatear- Oeananthe oenanthe
The Green Sandpiper was still at the wildfowler’s pools, flying off to hide in the ditches at my approach. Still 15/20 Teal and several partly obscured Shovelers. There was a Stock Dove on the marsh briefly, and overhead a local Buzzard.
Spots of rain began and in the absence of much doing I made my way back to Lane Ends and thence to Braides Farm where lazy birders can bird from a car. Here were lots of Golden Plovers, 350 and more, distant on the muddy field.
There are no Lapwing flocks now, just patrolling males and every so often a partial and motionless head, a female Lapwing sat tight on a probable full clutch of eggs. I noted several Oystercatchers feeding but didn’t spot any sat tight just yet; normally their nests are a week or two later than Lapwings. There were several Skylarks in song despite the gloomy morning.
It was a slightly disappointing morning with frustrating weather resulting in little visible migration but nice to connect with another Wheatear.