Friday, April 29, 2011

Alternative Agenda

It was just as well we didn’t arrange a ringing session on the strength of last night’s weather forecast because there was a stiff easterly breeze. I heard say that a television programme might keep people indoors today, and hoping that both the roads and the shore at Rossall Point might be quiet I set off over the normally grid-locked Amounderness Way (or The Poulton to Thornton Car Park as it’s known about here) towards Fleetwood and the 10am tide and a few hours watching the real world.

As soon as I got to the shore I noted more than 15 Gannets going east into the wind, with upwards of 12 Eiders and 8 Red-breasted Mergansers making their way out of the estuary.


There are a lot of Dunlin moving north at the moment, with smaller numbers of Ringed Plover and Sanderlings. A count along the shore came to 900 Dunlin, 60 Sanderling and 210 Ringed Plover, and as usual the flocks were almost constantly moved around the shore and stopped from either roosting or feeding by walkers on the beach.

Ringed Plover and Dunlin

mainly Dunlin


Sanderling and Dunlin


Ringed Plover

In between taking photographs I noted a number of Swallows heading low over the shore then east and north, mostly single birds but 30+ in total. Small groups of Linnets were also noticeable, with upwards of 20 flying off in the same direction as the Swallows. By concentrating on photographs I think I had probably missed many Arctic Terns flying far out, but close in to the shore at least 55 birds went north and east in just a few minutes of watching, then distantly an Arctic Skua and a couple more Gannets.




The forecast shows more easterly winds tomorrow that prevent any ringing, so it’s a spot of birding in the morning. Later it’s packing for Menorca and The Med on Sunday where I might just find a few birds waiting to come here – Swifts, Whinchats and Spotted Flycatchers to name a few of this week’s non-arrivals.

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