Thursday, October 1, 2009


Not much to report this morning due to my delayed start caused by a quick trip to the shops at Knott End. I tried to get where all the birds are at Rossall Point via the Knott End ferry but arrived just as the boat was leaving. Oh well, there’s always another day. At least it gave me an opportunity to take a shot of Little just leaving and Large just waiting plus allowing me to count the Eider at 40+, even if a really close female drifted serenely into the distance while I fiddled to change lenses.

At Ridge Farm I helped out with a bit of ringing. There have been 100 or so Linnets there for a while but what is the age and sex composition of the flock, are they even the same birds, or is there a daily turnover, why and where too? How many will winter and what will be the survival rate of each category or individual? There are just so many questions to answer about a threatened species. Anyway here’s a picture of a young male to be going on with (amount of white on the outer webs of 7-9th primaries and worn tips).

The Linnets there hang around with about 30 Goldfinch, a similar number of Tree Sparrows and several Reed Buntings as they all move between the set aside of the maize field and the remains of a potato crop that may or may not have been harvested; looking between the rows it’s hard to tell, but there’s certainly plenty of varied seed heads for now or later in the month.

I had just missed a Green Sandpiper flying over but at least I saw the Yellow Wagtail that put in a brief appearance on the stubble and a Wheatear that did the same. Sadly the Yellow Wagtail call is one that used to be so familiar, now we almost have to relearn it each spring we hear it so infrequently. At least the ringing group managed to collect a little data on this species in the 1990s when we used to catch a number in the old Swallow roost at Fleetwood Marsh. Somewhere in the annals of the BTO there is also a faded nest record card of mine (hopefully now on the database) from close to Lane Ends in the early 90s.

There wasn’t a large Meadow Pipit passage at Ridge Farm this morning, more like a trickle of water that was difficult to put into a measuring jug as birds came and went, most of them seeing the nets in the bright sunshine of a beautiful morning. But count we did, arriving at about 50+ grounded in a couple of hours but unable to count the number moving high overhead on this dazzling, cloudless morning.

Talking of bright and beautiful, how about this young Robin caught here, but please don’t say aah!

Let’s finish with my bird of this and last week, another obliging Kestrel. So intent on watching the intended meal below, it allowed me to take a few pics.


Fleetwood Birder said...

Where's the Yellow Wag plate from Phil?

JRandSue said...

Fantastic flight shot.

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