Thursday, April 8, 2010

Trickling Through

There was a trickle of migrants at my usual cold corners this morning rather than the hoped for rush of migration to turn them into hot spots. Yet again hat and gloves were essential bits of kit for the first hour or more in the brisk westerly.

With an eye and an ear on the sky I killed time and counted the waders at Knott End, 190 Redshank and 200 Oystercatcher, with 7 Eider waiting at the ferry terminal. Things were so quiet I found time to confirm for Birdtrack breeding House Sparrow, Collared Dove and Starling along the Esplanade where the large old terraced houses provide ledges and cavities galore. Below the Esplanade a couple of Meadow Pipits were not this morning’s migrants, neither were 2 Pied Wagtails or the 3 Twite feeding on the remnants of the seed provided for them. I was just about to move on to my next migration hotspot when 2 Redpoll flew over heading east. One positive, it does seem to be a better spring for Redpoll, and maybe that is because more of them left us during the abnormally cold winter and they are now returning bang on cue, as they used to do? Someone said to me just the other day that plainer birds often make for better photographs: I suppose that the closely related Twite and Redpoll might be described as “little brown jobs” without many distinguishing features?

Lesser Redpoll


Fluke Hall and Ridge Farm were similarly quiet, with grounded Meadow Pipits numbering 18 and resident singing Skylarks 6. A spring flock of Linnets along the gorse numbered about 45, with 3 local Stock Dove feeding quietly in the stubble field whilst 2 Wheatear below the sea wall were probably new in. Another group of Linnets numbering 6 were alongside Fluke Hall Lane, as was a singing Chiffchaff with briefly, a perched up Merlin that as I approached, flew over Wheel Lane.

There was a little more spring activity during my Lane Ends to Pilling Water walk where I found 2 Chiffchaff, one singing and one silent and a lone singing Willow Warbler in the plantation, a Reed Bunting, 2 Wheatear, and then on the water noted the Little Grebe pair with eggs. Again, I noted the quiet staccato of overflying Redpoll, putting down one in my notebook.

All was mainly quiet at Pilling Water save for a Stoat that scurried around the stones, boulders, pipes and maintenance equipment left there by the Environment Agency. I think the Stoat makes a living by preying on the rabbits that make a home in and under the same leftovers, but it moved so fast I had no chance of taking a photo today, the one below taken earlier in the winter, when it was properly cold.


The few birds around were 3 Sand Martin and a single Swallow over the wildfowler’s pools that seemed to disappear as quickly as they arrived, 2 Little Egrets and a few more Meadow Pipits and Skylarks.


Things look better for the next three days with a building high pressure and the promise of a few ringing sessions on the horizon.

Warm Weather?


Pete Woodruff said...

Obviously the second time today I've not been doing the job right Phil (Hooded Crow on Glasson Marsh) and - having followed you - your Wheatears/Willow Warblers/Chiffchaffs....Oh dear!!....But wait a minute they could have moved on.

Unravel said...

The stoat looks so cute!
Especially when it's standing on its back feet.

Johnny Nutcase said...

sounds like a lot of good stuff! Migration where we are is proving a little bit boring. We're used to a bit more it a few more weeks, but it's so slow here! Love the pictures, the stoat is a cutie :)

siromade08 said...

Those are lovely birds. Great shot.

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