The last five days week we’ve had the lot - spells of sunshine, hail stones, rain and blustery wind, then finishing off the week with fog. I set off early thinking the rising sun would burn off the fog quickly but it didn’t. As I drove through Pilling village there was a Barn Owl ghosting through the damp air. With the non-stop traffic rushing for work and Lancaster City I dare not stop.
I parked up at Lane Ends and debated whether to continue driving or to go for a walk. Woodpigeons had decided to sit it out and not go anywhere for a while. There was a male Pied Wagtail on duty at the entrance to the car park.
At Wrampool there were Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit, and from their demeanour, both on territory.
The visibility at Conder Green was really bad although lots of the usual stuff was reasonably close and visible. I picked up on a Common Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, a dozen or more Redshank, 12 Oystercatcher, 4 Shelduck, a single Snipe and 2 Goosander. In the “small“ category came 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Reed Bunting, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Chaffinch and 2 Greenfinch. There was a Barn Owl here too, this one doing as the earlier one by appearing out of the murk and then vanishing out over the mist laden marsh.
I was getting nowhere fast so I drove back towards Knott End village where the coast was clearer but cold. I parked the new Ferrari in a quiet spot where it couldn’t get damaged and then sat on the sea wall. It was from here and as the tide rolled in that I counted 290 Oystercatcher, 12 Redshank, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Eider and 3 Cormorant. Somewhere was a Sandwich Tern calling, so possibly more than one but I couldn’t find the bird(s).
A walk up river produced a Chiffchaff alongside the golf course, 2 Pied Wagtails, a Wheatear close to the old cottages and a single Meadow Pipit on the tidal defences. Across the river and at Fleetwood I could see a male Peregrine way up on the old RoRo terminal where it sheltered from the cold wind while retaining a view of the whole estuary. A wise bird.
Regular readers will know that I occasionally picture the village of Knott End just a mile or two from my home. The village is situated at the mouth of the Wyre Estuary at the extreme south and west of Morecambe Bay and just across the water from the historic fishing port of Fleetwood. Below is a video of the journey we sometimes make across the water where gulls, a variety of waders and seabirds like Cormorant, Eider, Little Egret and Grey Heron can be seen. Watch closely, there’s a Little Egret near the start of the video.
Back home. It's two-thirty and the sun is out. I just counted 7 Buzzards high over Stalmine village where I live, where a few Buzzards breed and where folk stop to say “hello”.
That’s village life for you.
Linking today to Anni's Birding and Eileen's Saturday.