Saturday, April 13, 2013

Where Did The Birds Go?

All the birds from Friday must have kept going overnight because this morning was noticeable for the absence of  Wheatears after probably hundreds of them made landfall in the North West yesterday. I couldn’t find any Wheatears at Lane Ends or Fluke Hall this morning, and no sign of yesterday’s Ring Ouzel either. 

There was a chilly old start, a Great-spotted Woodpecker greeting the dawn with a series of drumrolls just as the sun peeped through the mist and cloud. 

Morning Mist - Pilling

The highlight of this morning was the mass of Meadow Pipits on the move - again. Even though they are late this year the numbers of Meadow Pipits coming thorough has been phenomenal. A guess is that the cold weather through the early part of the year cleared almost every single one out of the UK and places further north, ensuring that they all have to come back again. Looking in the usual place for Wheatears I found just Meadow Pipits instead, and any pipits on the deck weren’t for staying off passage long before they joined in the stream of birding heading east and inland towards the hills. I counted 4/500 Meadow Pipits on the move in about three hours along various part of Pilling shore. 

Meadow Pipit

Pied Wagtails everywhere were the other main feature, with some at Fluke, others at Lane Ends and also Pilling Water, in all 45+. 

Pied Wagtail

At Fluke Hall I watched the Kestrels in their post-dawn pair bonding, all noise and action - mating within sight of their nest box home too. Good thing the kids aren’t at home just yet. 

It was this about time last year when the Jays appeared at Lane Ends. I’m not sure where they are based and I can’t decide if the villains are looking to nest or looking for nests, but there they were this morning searching silently through the trees again. Two Chiffchaffs were fly-catching from the willows which overhang the pool, a sheltered part of the site which can often be much warmer than the nearby shore just yards away. Two Redwing suddenly dropped into the trees and then further up and from the gate I noticed a number of Blackbirds and a Song Thrush had left the cover of the wood to feed out on the open grass. Like the Meadow Pipits, there has been a noticeable arrival of thrushes this Spring. 

Not much doing at Pilling Water, a couple of Skylark, 300 Pink-footed Geese, 4 Linnet, plenty of Meadow Pipits and the first Whimbrel of the year whistling across the marsh.

Another pipit shot, it wasn't a great morning for photo opportunities - same bird different pose.

Meadow Pipit

On the pools a Snipe, 10 Shoveler and 8 Teal, the other wildfowl and waders of recent days departed too. Those Shoveler duck are handsome creatures aren’t they? 

Northern Shoveler

Apologies for a quiet day on Another Bird Blog. There will be owls soon - promise. With this post I'm linking to The Weekly Top Shots .


Isidro Ortiz said...

Hello Phil,estupendas capturas.Un abrazo

eileeninmd said...

Phil, great report on your outing. The Pipit and Wagtail are both beautiful birds. And the flight shot is awesome. No need to apologize for your quiet birdie day, but I do enjoy your owl shots. Happy Sunday!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great mist and bird photos!

Stuart Price said...

500 pipits! ........mind you they are so common on the moors perhaps it isn't so surprising after all.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

What's to apologize for? Loving that wagtail...a new one for me. I always see something interesting and beautiful on your blog.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Today I heard the spring peepers, yesterweek the American Woodcock. And then heard another today! So much to listen to! I adore your header. Well done.
Cheers from Cottage Country!

Choy Wai Mun said...

Still a good outing for me. And you've got some nice images as well.

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