Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mipits at last

The early start promised a sunny day as the damp, cool, even cold air gradually gave way to weak sunshine. The mist hung around the fields at Lane Ends but even as I donned my hat, gloves and boots a Chiffchaff sang from the nearest trees. Strange that autumn Chiffchaff often sing, but autumn Willow Warblers much less so.

A Little Egret was out on the marsh, not moving yet. Last week I bemoaned the numbers of Greenfinch but here this morning a number, maybe a dozen, came out of the plantation even at this early hour which made me suspect an overnight roost had taken place. There was also some “pinking” and contact calling from several Chaffinch, noises that come with fresh migrants. A couple of both Grey Wagtail and “alba” wagtails flew over.

I didn’t stay long at Lane Ends today, didn’t even get to Pilling Water, but instead motored on up to Conder Green with the intention of then walking part of the Bank End/Cockerham stretch of sea wall.

Conder Pool was the proverbial mill pond where I counted the 3 Little Grebe, the Spotted Redshank, Kingfisher, single Greenshank, eight Snipe, 45 Teal, and 22 Redshank. Like at Lane Ends, a couple more Grey Wagtails flew over calling, as did several Meadow Pipit on high, because by now the sky was clear and bright. Obviously this morning I looked carefully in the car park and along the cycleway with only a heavily breathing but thankfully speedy, receding jogger to disturb me. A tit flock was about, moving quickly through all the sycamores but all I could find were longtails, coals, greats and blues, not even a hanger-on chiffy.

Down at Bank End two Little Egrets fed quite close to the road despite a constant flow of traffic heading for the parachute centre. It’s only when you try to photograph a Little Egret that you realise how quickly they move about through the water, dashing around in unpredictable directions as they locate or search for prey.

I heard other flaps and flutterings today, but not from avian wings, just the parachutes overhead. Throw myself from a plane? No thanks I’ll definitely stick to birding.

I took a walk further along the sea wall where I came across many Meadow Pipits, most not on the move but grounded, either earlier this morning or as leftovers from Saturday. The pipits flushed constantly from the wet grass, rough ground and pools or ahead or beside me so that by the time I had walked about a mile I had counted more than 300. In addition to the pipits I counted 6 calling Reed Buntings, a species always associated with pipit arrivals.

Also in the fields were approximately 15 Skylark with odd ones going over. Two separate finch flocks held 50 Goldfinch and 45 Linnet. Not a raptor morning for me with just a single Kestrel to report at Bank End.

1 comment:

Brian Rafferty said...

Phil. Good to see you have had an enjoyable day's birding with excellent numbers of Mipits.Nice shot of the Little Egret.

Related Posts with Thumbnails