Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Swallow But Not Summer

Knott End was productive this morning when I filled down one side of my notebook page with records from there. The wind blew south easterly, and although it wasn’t cold, it was cool with full cloud cover and to the north Heysham disappeared periodically into the low and slightly drizzly cloud. I didn’t expect to get many photographs this morning in such low light conditions, but multi-tasking as blokes do, I had ready my bag of rings, pliers and spring traps for any likely looking Wheatear encounters.

From the area of the jetty I counted 800+ Oystercatchers, 45 Redshank, 5 Curlew, 2 Ringed Plover, 6 Eider, 1 Cormorant, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Little Egret, with fly overs of 2 Whooper Swans heading north and 2 Greylags. There was a little noticeable migration from birds that flew across the estuary from Fleetwood to follow the jetty and then the Esplanade inland, i.e. 15 Meadow Pipit, 4 “alba” wagtails, 2 Siskin, a Reed Bunting and a Skylark.

Whooper Swan

Cormorant

A little up river alongside the golf course I noted 2 Wheatear down on the pebbly shore, 3 Linnets, 3 Goldfinch and a couple of Greenfinch that at last seem to have returned in a few numbers this last week. Also up here I heard a Mistle Thrush singing from the other side of the golf course. Along the Esplanade I found the flock of 16 Twite feeding on the black magic and the Meadow Pipit theme continued with little groups of 8 then 11 birds heading along the wall towards Pilling.

Twite

Goldfinch

Meadow Pipit

I decided to walk my usual Lane Ends to Pilling Water stretch. Here also there was an obvious Meadow Pipit and alba movement whereby I added another 28 “mipits” heading south east into the breeze and 5 more wagtails. On the pools the Gadwall pair of two days ago had left to be replaced by pairs each of Goldeneye and Little Grebe.

Near the stile at Pilling Water I watched the fields, marsh and sky and perused the wildfowler’s pools to count: 120 Redshank, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Egret, 30 Golden Plover heading north, 3 singing Skylark and a single Swallow, my first of the year that flew low across the stubble then like most things this morning, east along the sea wall.

Little Egret

Swallow

No Wheatears here this morning but by next highlight came in the form of the pale, male Peregrine I had seen on and off for the last week or so, this morning noisily chasing off inland another but slightly smaller male Peregrine. The big bird paused on the way back out to the marsh to take a half hearted attempt at a Lapwing that seemed to outmanoeuvre the Peregrine; that’s why I thought the Peregrine hadn’t really tried very hard, it could surely have a Lapwing if it so wanted?

4 comments:

Pete Woodruff said...

Still looking in daily to keep my eye on what you're up to Phil. The Swallow looks excellent on Birds2blog as you can see in your right hand sidebar.

Regards Pete W.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What an incredible Goldfinch you have there! All of the images are great~

Tabib said...

Wow!.. six Whooper Swans in flight.

CE Webster said...

Gorgeous Pictures!

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