Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Pipit Peak?

Last night’s weather forecast was sort of OK, and although there might be rain in south Lancashire, Dianne promised the Fylde coast a couple of dry hours and little or no wind. We speculated that birds might move north and ahead of the weather front so once again set off for Out Rawcliffe, where Craig also joined us today. Young Craig found out this morning he’d landed a job at a Swedish bird observatory for the summer months – well done Craig!

Our vista this morning was grey skies with an accompaniment of all-round mist and murk, but as promised by the BBC, no rain, at least for the time being. Then straight from the dawn start we knew it was to be a pipit morning as Meadow Pipits arrived immediately in small parties but larger than we had seen this spring. In all, approximately 250/300 Meadow Pipits moved through our area between 0700 and 1045 when we took nets down after rain eventually came in our direction from the south and put paid to our peak of pipits.

It was a strange sort of morning, as apart from the Meadow Pipits, the range of other species seen and heard was small, almost certainly due to the awful visibility. In all we caught 24 birds of 3 species, 18 Meadow Pipit, 5 Goldfinch and 1 Chaffinch. Two of the Goldfinches were recaptures, one from last year, one from this. We caught no Lesser Redpolls this morning, but at least 15 birds went over us, together with a single Siskin.

Otherwise, my notebook remained blank apart from resident Skylark, Corn Bunting and Great-spotted Woodpeckers drumming in nearby woods.

With such poor light my camera stayed in the bag today, so my pictures are of other sunnier days, and for comparison and variety’s sake I put in a few other pipits.

Meadow Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Meadow Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Driving off the moss through the rain I could see that even the Little Owl had no intention of sitting out in the rain but instead sought shelter on a ledge of the barn, so the camera came out briefly.

Little Owl

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