Friday, September 11, 2009

Harrier Week

Last evening I didn’t get chance to update the Blog as I was tied up with a trip to the A6 and the Fulmar, not to mention ringing a brood of four healthy Swallows at Catterall.

So this is an update with things seen yesterday 10th September on a morning stroll around a farm near Nateby and then on a visit to an adjoining farm this afternoon.

Swallows are a good starting point. Early in the week when large numbers were counted on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and it appeared that a movement of thousands took place, the count helped by the overcast but warm weather which kept the birds feeding fairly low and thus more visible, by Thursday and today I noted that numbers were much reduced, in the dozens only.

Raptors were much in evidence, four Buzzards yesterday on the eastern edge of Rawcliffe Moss in the direction of St Michaels and then today five Buzzards over Rawcliffe Moss looking North West towards Pilling and two more directly over the farm. Maybe the clear skies with better visibility just made them more easily seen, but there is no doubt that Buzzards are now a daily sight in the Fylde and possibly our commonest raptor? The single Sparrowhawk I saw yesterday couldn’t compete with all the Buzzards in the air and neither could three or four Kestrels on both days.

Yesterday at Nateby I had a further sighting of Marsh Harrier, this time an adult female, maybe the one that frequented Braides at the weekend and Monday? Looking on Google Earth I can see that Braides is just a flap and a glide from the Nateby Road, via Eagland Hill and then Winmarleigh Moss. Unfortunately, whilst I have seen two different Marsh Harriers this week, I have not been able to get close enough or at the right angle to take a photo, they just don’t cooperate.

Whilst mentioning the moss this might be a good point to include today’s birding tip, as if I really need to relate this – Don’t take a family car over moss tracks that might look and start out solid but peter out to peat. The plonker in the photo got a large bill after calling out a rescue vehicle to Rawcliffe Moss this week when quite rightly the farmer didn’t wish to take responsibility for towing the stranded car through the black goo.

On the moss today I found another flock of Linnets, this time 43. There were definitely 43 because they obligingly sat on a telephone wire long enough to count them. The Goldfinch I saw this afternoon were scattered around in twos and threes so with a total of 17, I couldn’t match the Linnet count. In the pine copse I disturbed a couple of Jays and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Not the Great Spot I saw today but a similarly noisy, protesting one.

1 comment:

Fleetwood Birder said...

The stranded car reminds me of that couple we came across years ago Phil down that lane where the Long-eared Owls used to roost. If you remember they had been doing a bit of 'courting' and had got the car stuck. The lady in question was too embarassed to get out of the car to help push it in the mud. We couldn't shift it and I imagine they had a similar bill from the rescue organisation!

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