Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Grey Day

It’s a BBC plot of course. If they keep messing it up they will need to invest more money to make sure the forecasts are more accurate. And that is easily solved by putting up the licence fee? That’s my conspiracy theory, but they didn’t catch me out last night; I just doubled the wind speed forecast of 8mph, didn’t plan any ringing and when I looked out this morning my forecast was spot on. Easy!

I started at Fluke Hall Lane, just in time to see the pinkies come off the marsh to land in the recently cut barley field. They kept coming until I counted about 900, easily the best count I have had this year. With them was a very leucistic individual that can be seen in the very poor record photo; early morning grey light, grey geese, plus camera shake I’m afraid. The poor bird will make quite a target for the shooters soon.

I motored on past Fluke Hall scattering many of the recently released roadrunners, even finding them on the beach scampering across the sand below the concrete ramp. On the sea wall the stiff and cold north westerly put paid to any hopes of major visible migration. It’s funny but sometimes it’s not necessary to hang around long, if it’s going to happen or if it has started it will be immediately obvious but this morning was always a no-no. But if I have missed a day birding e.g. Friday, I still go out the next day, which isn’t necessarily the most sensible thing to do.

From the wall I could see to the right two Little Egrets out beyond Fluke Hall but the tide was too way out to invest time in looking past the green marsh. At Lane Ends I was early enough to spook a couple of Jays from the plantation from where I also heard a Goldcrest before finding it close by. It must have been near because I admit to struggling to hear Goldcrests nowadays, not to mention Tree Pipit which is even more difficult to pick up. But don’t laugh; everything comes to he or she who waits!

A Buzzard came out of the trees then headed off towards Fluke, scattering a few Curlew and Redshank before pausing a few minutes to sit incongruously on the marsh then eventually flying off again. A few, and I mean a few, Meadow Pipits went over at some height; although it was a grey sky, the cloud was not particularly low, allowing the pipits to maintain a decent altitude.

Small numbers of Pink- footed Geese still came off the marsh heading towards the bigger numbers from before but so few that I didn’t add more to my previous approximate count.

Up at Conder I quickly located two Spotted Redshank feeding below the road in their favoured spot with about 25 Common Redshank scattered along the creek. I watched a Kingfisher dive into the pool a couple of times from the overflow parapet but it quickly disappeared out of sight further along the edge of the water. Like at Lane Ends I could hear Meadow Pipits going over at some height, but again not in any way numerous.

The Lapwing field at Jeremy lane was consistent as I noted 700 Lapwing, 145 Golden Plover together with 75 Curlew in the nearest grassy field. At one point I really felt that someone was watching me watching them.

At Cockersands the noticeable element this morning was Skylark. Here close to the open river it was still quite chilly in the wind that blew across directly from Heysham so I put back on the coat I had earlier discarded at Conder. A group of eight Skylark then four more chirruped over from the north as maybe another thirty flew intermittently from the field immediately behind the bank before dropping down to hide again in the grass. And again just a small number of Meadow Pipit flew over almost imperceptibly. At least I can still hear those.

I drove on up to the caravan park which was doggy heaven along the shore; just the opportunity to see two Little Egret out in the tide, and near the farm entrance 15 Tree Sparrows. Another 20 Tree Sparrows near the next farm, the dilapidated barn and the roadside nest boxes. Thanks to Paul for the pic below.

I see it’s ten past five; I must go and watch the weather forecast.


Pete Woodruff said...

Good to see you're keeping up 'Another Bird Blog' Phil which as you can see I 'drop in' daily to read about your comings and goings including a Conder invasion now and again. I copied the Tree Sparrow pic before I noted you thanked Paul for it.....does this mean I can't 'use it' on Birds2blog?

Phil said...

Hi Peter

Glad to have you drop in daily. Likewise anyone else. I don't think Paul would have a problem but maybe you should check. Anyway whats wrong with using my pinkie shot?



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