Thursday, March 17, 2011

First Wheatear

Another grey, cold morning saw me not too optimistic about seeing or hearing a few migrants but at Fluke Hall I found my first 2 Wheatears of the spring, in the guaranteed, sheltered and comparatively warm spot below the sea wall. In my enthusiasm I pulled out the tub of meal worms, for the next month or two a permanent addition to the already overcrowded car boot, and set a couple spring traps. The Wheatears got close a couple of times but the cold, immobile worms didn’t do the trick – this time.



Nothing lost I checked the rest of the sea wall and inland fields to find 5 Meadow Pipit feeding down on the puddles of Ridge Farm with just a couple more heading off over Morecambe Bay. In the Fluke Hall trees was a singing Chiffchaff and the loud pinging calls of Siskins. Just out of the wood the resident Kestrel flew ahead of the car along to each telegraph pole in turn, my third Kestrel of the morning, with others at Lambs Lane and Head Dyke Lane. It was there, at Lambs Lane at 9am I’d seen a hunting Barn Owl that circled the field a few times before it went off in the direction of Pilling village.

Barn Owl


I walked to Pilling Water my customary Wheatear spot, where they are eminently more catchable than the drawn-out boulder shore of Fluke Hall, but didn’t find any. Here were several more Meadow Pipits, 5 Teal and 3 Redshank on the pool and 3 Little Egret on the shore. At Lane Ends were a couple more Siskins, a single Alba Wagtail, and 7 Meadow Pipits. Six more Teal and a single handsome Shoveler on the flood of Backsands Lane where a plover flock held 80 Golden Plover and 60 Lapwing.


Will tells me there are still plenty of Siskins in his garden, so maybe we’ll do more finch ringing tomorrow and save the meal worms for the Wheatears on a warmer day.

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