Saturday, December 12, 2009

Keep Moving

Keep moving was my mantra this morning because it was so cold; therefore brisk walking without fingers lingering unnecessarily on a wintry metal tripod was the order of the morning.

Initially I walked from Lane Ends to Pilling Water where on this frosty morning I could be fairly sure I would beat even the keenest dog walker to the first post. Less Whooper Swans than usual this morning unless I missed the earlier leavers, but I still counted 14 heading off south close over Fluke Hall wood.

Masses of Pink-footed Geese were just leaving Preesall sands heading inland, so many, so suddenly that I just watched the distant spectacle without attempting a count. But others, maybe 1200 were just out on the marsh here where I watched them for a while before a red-topped doggy jogger put them all to flight in layers of grey. Some left south, others settled further out into the Heysham backdrop whilst 3 Little Egrets took it all in their stride.

It was very quiet out here with the tide way out and a single Black-headed Gull on the immediate pool, but a party of 35 Teal came off the wildfowlers pool to head off towards the distant water.

I walked back to Lane Ends in time to see a Sparrowhawk fly around the edge of the wood, then try its luck low across the marsh before heading back towards the more distant pool and out of sight. I crashed through the plantation in the hope of a wood wader but none flew out, just the overfed brothel ducks that briefly panicked before settling down to wait for the next carrier bag of stale Hovis.

A more unusual recent sight was a Grey Heron near the roadside flood, but it reminded me that some of our Grey Herons do go off to warmer climes and it’s only when they are suddenly not around that we miss them; so much so that at this time of year I now see more Little Egrets than I do Grey Herons. Then as if to rub it in, later in the day a Grey Heron flew around the local roof tops seeing if the garden ponds were frozen too.

I drove down to Fluke Hall so as to do the Ridge Farm walk. The flood in the potato field was now a thin sheet of ice where 4 Pied Wagtails and 15 Meadow Pipits skidded over the frost whilst still searching the remaining soft earth. But catching Meadow Pipits way back in September seems a distant memory.

Along the hedgerow a Chaffinch posed in a small window of twigs for me, then further along three Reed Bunting flitted around more or less together with Dunnocks providing the normal heard but not seen “others”.

Beyond the gorse I counted 42 Curlew probing the frost, 30 Lapwing patrolling the ground and a couple more Pied Wagtails before I headed back via the sea wall where shore based Lapwings and rockhopper Wrens were the order of the day.

Not a lot doing and not a lot in my notebook but I had been out for three hours, found a bit of nonsense to fill the blog plus clicked a few more lousy pics.

Oh well, let’s see what tomorrow brings.


Pete Woodruff said...

Not a lot doing and not a lot in my note book......but still an interesting read Phil including the touch of humour in the 'red-topped dodgy jogger'......Humour is an important part of anyones character,don't loose it Phil.

Phil said...

Hi Pete

Thanks for looking in again. I dont think us birders should take ourselves too seriously, but as you say and as you do, find the humour where it exists. See you soon.


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