Friday, April 6, 2012

Back To Winter Questions

It was back to a couple of hours birding at Pilling this morning complete with bobble hat, gloves and a woolly scarf to ward off the cold. And if any birds made it up here against the unfriendly north westerly winds and through the obstructive high pressure then I didn’t find any of them this morning, and here on April 6th I’ve yet to see a Swallow or a Willow Warbler.

The trees at Fluke Hall were devoid of any warbler melodies, with just the sounds of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Robin, and all four of the titmice family. At the west end of the wood I came across a flock of 22 Linnets, a single Meadow Pipit and the pair of hedgerow dwelling Reed Buntings. 


Blue Tit

My Lane Ends/Pilling Water walk produced a few of the usual bits and pieces with on the pools 2 Little Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Little Egret sheltering in the lee of the bank. There seemed to be a few Meadow Pipits heading out across the bay, and as I watched them struggle into the wind I heard a Siskin overhead. When I looked up there were 5 of them, seemingly headed in the same direction as the pipits but within a few seconds they turned, circled and then dropped back into the trees. I could hear the Jays again noisily making their way through the trees and when I found them I saw there were three.

The walk to Pilling Water turned up little, the highlight being a single spring Wheatear, contrasting with the remnants of the wintering Pink-footed Geese, still about 350 birds. On the wildfowler’s pools 13 Teal still linger with approximately 25 Redshank for company, in a group, just waiting to head north to Iceland. Small birds were hard to come by here with a single Meadow Pipit and 4 Skylark, and after their bursts of song in recent times the local Skylarks went silent with the cold winds, with now just the noise of their territorial squabbles confirming they are still about. 


As I journeyed back to Lane Ends I disturbed a Kestrel from the fence posts and then noted a sentinel Peregrine out on the marsh, whilst above the plantation a Buzzard circled and mewed.

A couple of questions sprang to mind: When a Buzzard calls from a great height, to what distance does the call travel? Are Buzzards breeding in Pilling village now?


Andrew said...

Lovely images..

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I love all 3 of these images Phil and the Robin said good morning to me, just now;') Wow, will your winter end soon? We have had some slight cooling down to upper 30'e and highs in 70's, I can deal with that, no rain in forecast either. Happy Easter season Phil~

CameraCruise said...

Beautiful photos.
I especially like the robin, one of my favorite birds.

Amila Kanchana said...

Real cuties, those birds are!

Linda said...

The photos are lovely - the robin is amazing! Such detail!

Cheryl said...

Perhaps a less than stellar outing for you, but it sounds like a day made to order to me.

Pia said...

So wonderful shots ...... you did a grat job capturing these shy critters!

Christian said...

Superb Robin portrait Phil.

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