Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Early Doors

I got out briefly this morning but got rained off at 10am and at 3pm it’s still raining. So this is a very short update with maybe better birding and ringing luck soon, although the forecast for the next few days is less than inspiring.

I went to Knott End at first light because the tide would be running in and any disturbance at that early hour would be minimal. So it proved, with a good selection of waders on the beach although the light was so poor my photography was limited, but I counted 45 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2200 Oystercatcher, 125 Redshank, 3000 Knot, 8 Grey Plover, 110 Dunlin and 95 Dunlin before the tide pushed most of them off to leave just Oystercatchers, Black-headed Gulls and a few Shelduck.


At the slipway I was surprised to see a Wheatear searching through the tideline debris because by 3rd November it should be well on the way to Africa. Not so the Twite, now here for the winter with 12 today around the top of the jetty but none at my nyjer seed drop at the Esplanade; instead there were 2 Pied Wagtails here, and a little further along a Rock Pipit.


Already the rain threatened so I made my way along Head Dyke Lane towards Pilling and Wheel Lane. It looks like many of the Whooper Swans have moved down to the Wildfowl Trust reserve at Martin Mere where a count of 400 birds there last week coincided with my Pilling Count of 210 on October 27th. Today the Whoopers were down to 35 individuals, sharing the flooded stubble with 40 Redshank, 240 uninspiring Greylag fairly close to the road, and further away about 1700 of the much wilder Pink-footed Goose. There were many more pinkies coming from and also going out to the marsh but today I didn’t get chance to look.

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

When I got to Lane Ends many of last night’s roosting Little Egret were still hanging about the island where I counted 28 birds, and as I did so some began to leave. I began the walk to Pilling Water, flushing a Snipe from the tide line, several Skylark from the grassy bank, and a Kestrel from a fence post, but from the west the rain returned with a vengeance.

I think it was in 1981 that I and many others twitched a Little Egret at Leighton Moss, a bird that created quite a stir at the time; now they are ten-a-penny and a twitcher’s pager no longer bleeps for Little Egrets.

Little Egret


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