Sunday, December 6, 2009


A sunny start beckoned but it was probably best not to get too ambitious by straying far from the car in case the heavens opened and I got drenched again.

From Lane Ends I walked to Pilling Water, itself quite an adventurous distance in recent weeks. Out on the marsh I counted 26 Whooper Swans, similar to my last count there but this year little groups of Whoopers seem scattered everywhere. Maybe a coordinated Fylde count would be useful this winter?

It doesn’t seem that many years ago that a December Little Egret out here was sought after for the forthcoming New Year’s Day bird count, but no need for that now as they are just a daily certainty at any time of year, with 5 on this morning’s walk. The Pinkfeet were leaving the marsh in tens and hundreds, heading off in all sorts of directions, with some already making their way back in after being disturbed from the fields and their early breakfast.

The tide was way out, and although the many distant Lapwings performed their usual aerobatics, I was just hoping for a few passerine bits and pieces close by, so did manage 2 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipits and 4 Linnet, all moving about in the lee of the sea wall.

Naturally the dark rain clouds rolled in with accompanying heavy showers just as I neared Lane Ends so I changed plans for more walking to follow some Pink-footed Geese that I saw dropping over Moss Edge way. At the first farm I saw 3 Pied Wagtails moving between the buildings and the adjacent field together with 7 Tree Sparrows and 3 Blackbirds around the trees and old hawthorns. Pretty dire stuff this as just around the moss I stopped in a lay by for 15 minutes to let a torrential shower pass over. I carried on the circuit, without finding many birds but I did see a couple of Mistle Thrush on a low hedge then 2 Brown Hare in an adjacent field.

Near Moss Edge Caravan Park where I looked through the wood as cover I counted approximately 1700 wary Pinkfeet in a single large field but then left them alone rather than disturb them more. Moss Edge really isn’t the place it used to be; the development of many farm buildings into dwellings or what appears to be light industrial use, coupled with the loss of traditional agriculture means that it is now hard to find many birds out there, summer or winter. Even the geese don’t use the moss like they used to, having moved on to find other places that are better suited to their needs.

At Gulf Lane I had to park up in amazement as more than 2000 gulls, mainly Black-headed Gull with some Common Gull almost filled the field immediately behind the sea wall as the birds rose and fell en masse to food items just exposed by the sudden rain squalls.

Stranger still in the middle of this vast crowd of gulls, 2 Buzzards were trying to muscle in on the action, their manoeuvres adding to the commotion caused by the many gulls.

I don’t recommend parking alongside this road on a Sunday morning in a downpour and I didn’t hang around long.

A short post again from this morning but I’m afraid the weather just keeps defeating me and there’s little point in padding this out any longer. I think I will sign off with a rainbow as the everlasting emblem of the last trying few months.


Pete Woodruff said...

Not looking good again for at least the early part of this week. Let me know if you need any 'medication' to overcome the depression which may set in soon if it hasn't already done so.

Enjoyed the read Phil.

Phil said...

Hi Peter

I think the tonic we all need is a bit of settled, sunny weather. Thursday looks a possibility at the mo but it can change!

Cheers, Phil

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