Monday, September 20, 2010

Bits ’N Pieces

I just sneaked an hour or two this morning for a quick visit to Pilling. In the short time available I had a reasonable selection of birds with some evidence of passerine migration, and at long last a decent coastal movement of Meadow Pipits. I started with 2 Kestrels perched together on a roadside telegraph pole near Fluke Hall, where I saw them recently doing just the same thing, so I think they are siblings of a late brood as they sit within inches of each other. Here at the gateway to the wildfowler’s fields I found a small group of 8 Skylarks and 2 Meadow Pipits. Swallows are disappearing fast now but there were a dozen or so here, but up at Lane Ends I noticed a genuine movement of more than 40 Swallows heading determinedly west into the warm but stiff breeze. I checked the pools for phalaropes but all I found was a pair of Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe.

Tufted Duck

I walked from Lane Ends towards Pilling Water where more Meadow Pipits were obvious with a couple of dozen both behind the sea wall and along the sandy shore. In addition others were arriving from a northerly direction and Heysham as yet others followed the wall from the Cockerham route. In all I counted about 120 individuals, with 8 or 9 Skylarks and a couple of “albas”. In addition I reckoned there were 7 Wheatears, one or two hanging about in the obvious spots, and all I had to do was sit down and wait for one to stand on a favoured stone for a while; but generally all the small birds were very mobile this morning with a definite autumn buzz about proceedings. There were a good number of Pink-footed Geese flighting on and off the marsh, and whilst I didn’t have the numbers of the weekend I still counted 600 birds.

Pink-footed Goose


Meadow Pipit

Out on the marsh a Peregrine beat up the flock 400 Teal several times over, but while I was there failed to catch one and didn’t transfer its attention to trying to seize something different. They do say Teal is one of the better wildfowl to eat and whilst it’s not on my eating list, maybe the Peregrine knows a thing or two about the best species of duck to eat. As I crossed the stile I disturbed 2 Spotted Redshank from the pool that I didn’t locate on my initial but brief scan of the water, whereupon they flew along the outflow and joined up with 30 or so common Redshank.

6 Little Egrets and 2 Snipe completed the picture, but my little outing ended too soon. The wind has dropped so it looks like a ringing session is on for tomorrow; with luck there will be more pipits and a continuation of the Chaffinch theme.


1 comment:

Andy Wilson said...

Stopped by for a visit. Great post and like your banner too.

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