Thursday, April 7, 2011

And There’s More

It was too windy for mist-netting again today, but warm enough for a Pilling walk looking for Wheatears.

It’s natural for non-birders to think that the Wheatears at Pilling are the same ones day after day, but new ones arrive fresh in from the south most days now on their way to Scotland and the Pennine uplands. I watched several of them this afternoon make their way from the sea wall and out onto the marsh, feeding as they went but all the time creeping further north and west, no doubt to head off again tonight on the next leg of their journey.

I also caught another two of today’s gang, a male and a female, both of the nominate race oenanthe with wing lengths of 99mm the male and 95mm the female. The second calendar year/juvenile male posed for a photograph but the female didn’t want to. It’s too early in the month to catch any of the Greenland race leucorhoa, but I hope to start catching them from mid-April onwards when wing measurements of 101mm upwards for males and 99mm and above for females indicate birds with much further to travel, Iceland or maybe Greenland itself.

Wheatear – male, second calendar year

Wheatear – male, second calendar year

Wheatear – male, second calendar year

I was talking to a birder yesterday who had yet to see a Wheatear this year. Don't worry there's lots more to come!


When I started out at Lane Ends round about lunchtime there were a couple of unexpected corvid sightings; firstly a group of 5 noisy Ravens flying out on the marsh but heading west, and then in the plantation, an unseasonal Jay squawking through the trees.


Whilst the Wheatears head quickly north the Pink-footed Geese don’t seem in any hurry to get to Iceland and I logged 1200 of them out on the marsh. The numbers of Redshank continued building today with a count of 270, and they too will head off to Iceland pretty soon. Otherwise counts were much like most of this week with 2 Linnet, 6 Teal, 4 Meadow Pipit, 6 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin, 2 Little Egret and 9 Wheatears.

At home I turned my attention to getting a few pictures of Greenfinches, a species that is also a spring migrants and nesting in the garden once again.


What a great weather forecast for the next few days, it’s sure to bring more migrant birds. I can’t wait.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails