Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not A Lot

Hope sprang eternal this morning as I braved the blustery, showery weather for an hour or two, but very little to report as I dodged the bursts of rain whilst trying to keep both warm and dry.

At Fluke Hall Lane my passing car disturbed a Sparrowhawk dashing across the road ahead of me. Maybe it was just as well the hawk went elsewhere because just there in front of me in the rain pools were two bright Grey Wagtails searching the roadside for food.

Just inside the wood I stopped to look onto the mixed bird food that someone has put down; at least this year they had more sense than to put it on the verge, a collision with a car an accident waiting to happen to some unfortunate Chaffinch.

Two tree rats were having a picnic amongst the seed with three or four Chaffinch and a couple of Great Tits waiting for their turn at the table. A couple of Moorhen crept in and out of my sight, almost too shy for a picture but as the sun put in a brief appearance I snapped one.

The Long-tailed Tit flock was mobile again and by waiting for them to cross the road via the trees I was able to count 22, with small numbers of Blue and Great hangers-on.

Not much point in looking for overhead migrants this morning, but a brief walk along the wall confirmed that, with just the odd Meadow Pit and Skylark calling against the noise of the wind in the trees with four Blackbirds feeding in the hawthorn hedge. I could see a number of Whooper Swan out from Fluke, partly hidden in the ditches and dips of the marsh but at this point the rain was so intense I didn’t venture out to count and in any case I didn’t wish to make them fly off unnecessarily in such weather. So far this year the Whoopers seem to stick to the one spot here which is the approximate area of the marsh that is baited heavily for the weekly wildfowl shoot but the spot is not easily countable from west or east, needing instead a trek across the field path at the risk of disturbing them.

So I drove back through the wood to look across the stubble field where I found a separate group of 7 Whooper Swan with several Pink-footed Geese and 2 Barnacle Geese.

Very windswept and still rainy at Lane Ends where with the tide well out, only a number of Lapwing and about 350 tightly packed Starling to properly count.

At Conder just the usual to report but it seems that my Spotted Redshank count now only ever reaches one. Same bird as last week, different pose.

In the creek I counted 40 Redshank, 90 Teal, 6 Snipe and a single Black-tailed Godwit but by now the rain was both heavy and persistent again so I called it a morning.

By all accounts more of the same weather for at least the next three days but a glimmer of hope for a ringing session on Thursday, fingers crossed.

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