Friday, September 16, 2011

Harried Again!

After the moss marathon yesterday it was almost a relief to return to normal today with breezy, cloudy south-easterly weather that dictated a Pilling walk rather than more ringing. It wasn’t much of a morning for the camera either so apologies in advance for mainly archive pictures today, but there are a few interesting sightings I hope.

Lane Ends car park was full of sportsmen looking longingly at approximately 350 Pink-footed Geese, newly arrived from Iceland. Already the pinkies are wary; as well they might be, but with experienced birds and Pilling regulars amongst the flocks they will hopefully have some success in staying away from the guns.

Pink-footed Goose

Two noisy Jays reminded me that it is September, the time of year when the coloured crows take up residence here in search of acorns from the small number of oak trees. On the pools I found the 2 Little Grebe again as a number of Swallows hawked around the water and grassy spots, but later in the morning I was to witness a sizeable movement of Swallows heading south-east.

Setting off to Pilling Water along the embankment I clocked 4 Little Egret, 55 Curlew, 2 grounded Meadow Pipits, 40 Goldfinch, 14 Linnet and 2 Skylark. It’s best to tread warily around the stile, not to peer over the fence too obviously because there may be a few bits and pieces on the pool if first there. I knew I was the first when 2 Green Sandpipers exploded noisily from the water’s edge, despite my careful approach. They flew off to the quiet of the wildfowler’s pools, with c 20 Teal only today after the recent increase in water levels. Below the sea wall were 2 White/Pied Wagtail with behind me somewhere the contact call of Reed Bunting, and then another, but I couldn’t see the birds and they may have been overflying.


Near the Wheatear rocks I sat for a while on the damp grass but sadly there were no Wheatears to look at today, nor the Stoat.



The Peregrine stood out there on the marsh, in a direct line to Heysham Power Station, and easy to pick up again should I let my bins venture left or right. A Marsh Harrier came into view from the left, so far on the edge of the marsh that it was barely discernible with the naked eye when I lowered my bins. As the bird traveled east the views in slightly better light made me think it was the same bird from a week ago Friday 9th September, but I can’t be sure. When the harrier disappeared into the distance the Peregrine was still rooted to its same spot with nothing much to chase save for distant Curlew and Shelduck.

As the rain approached from the south I decided there was time for a quick look at Ridge Farm. It was here where Swallows were very visibly on the move, coming from the west and off the sands, then over the embankment and heading markedly into the south-easterly breeze. In an hour’s walk I counted more at least 130 Swallows doing exactly the same thing. There was nothing much else here except for a few Meadow Pipits, 18 Linnet, a single Siskin overhead, a handful of migrant Chaffinches “pink-pinking” from the hedgerow, and a Buzzard, a little inland and over towards Duck Lane, the way home.



Stu said...

Pinkfeet and Stoats, great stuff Phil.

I used to know a joke, 'what's the difference between a stoat and a weasel?'

'A weasel is weasily recognizable and a stoat is stoatally different.'


It sounded a lot better after several pints and other intoxicants.

Seasons said...

Stu there shared a funny one. Well Phi, you have a nice archive of pictures. These pictures of the Stoat are beautiful, and seems to be the same place where you took the last ones. Seems like you are anticipating some particular seasonal birds - new and returnees. Have a good time, and share the fun! Thanks.

Kay L. Davies said...

I just heard of pink-footed geese for the first time this year, and now I find out they're being hunted.
Life is seldom pink and pretty. I should know that.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

JWBateman said...

Hi Phil: Autumn well & truly here now Best wishes JWB.

Paco Sales said...

Que hermoso y elegante es el armiño, me gusta visitar tu blog y disfrutar del trabajo que realizas Phil, recibe un abrazo

eileeninmd said...

Great photos, I love the stoat and the Linnet is pretty. Great birdie day! have a wonderful wweekend. Happy birding!

Cheryl said...

That photo of the chaffinch is surreal.

Andrea said...

I again learned another animal today, Stoat, and that's so cute. Your photos are so beautiful.

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Excellent and very nice photos.

Regards and best wishes

Jane said...

Awesome captures, love the Stoat:)

chubskulit said...

Very cute critters.

My critter post, have a wonderful weekend!

Leckeres für Mensch und Katze - Goodies for a pleasant life said...

I love this ferret :)

Anonymous said...

So many lovely bird shots. Your header is a stunner!

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