There was rain until 8am and even though the sky brightened a little I kept one eye on the threatening grey clouds, the other on the birds. Out on Pilling Sea wall there’s nowhere to shelter should the heavens open.
There was a Peregrine way out on the sands but on a closer tidal flood, a gang of Whooper Swans which take up residence here each winter. Forty-five Whoopers plus two Mute Swans, 30+ Shelduck, 7 Little Egret and 3 Grey Heron.
On the wildfowler’s pools just 40 Teal, 2 Pintail and 150+ ex-release Hi-Fly Mallard. There have been at least 3 or 4 Wednesday shoots already this autumn so the numbers of Mallards is way down. There are still many Red-legged Partridge across the stubble and maize, probably 300+ left over from the release of 2,000 of them for the shooting season. Interestingly, I was told that the wildfowler’s peak (and quite staggering) count of 6/7000 wild Teal occurred in September, probably when I was away in Skiathos.
On and near the stubble field - 15 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Snipe, 100+ Jackdaw and 140+ Woodpigeon.
By now the promised wind was brewing up. It’s the legacy of Gonzalo, so I headed for the relative shelter of the trees at Fluke Hall. A good number of Chaffinches were around today, with a higher number of contact calls than of late and also more small parties of birds moving through the tree tops. There was at least one Brambling so a count of 40+ Chaffinch and 1+ Brambling.
Also in the trees and along the roadside, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Jay, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Buzzard and 15+ Long-tailed Tits. I think the splendid looking male Pied Wagtail has recently completed its summer moult.
Here's a sepia-style Fluke Hall for old times sake.
Fluke Hall - Pilling
There’s meant to be even more wind tomorrow which if true rather limits any birding opportunities. But as ever for Another Bird Blog, if it’s half decent there will be more news and pictures soon.
Linking today to Anni's Birding Blog.