Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Camera Never Lies

Hello-- Dan here! good picture, eh?

As the sun broke through early afternoon I rang Steve W to suggest a bit of Aldcliffe migrant raptor-watching. Glad I did!

I picked up the first osprey within a couple of minutes of being in the magic parish. It was over Snatchems above a furore of gulls and it headed N-Westish from there.
Steve, having been distracted from the serious business of sky-watching by a little ringed plover displaying over Freeman's Pools, managed to get onto the raptor with only thirty seconds to spare.

Sensing that another good raptor was on the cards, we were onto a second osprey within about fifty minutes. Something had vexed the shelducks, oystercatchers and curlews downstream and a minute or so later the culprit cruised right over our Stodday vantage point at about fifty metres. Great views.

This one headed N/NE towards Lancaster, without so much as a flap.

We hoped for a hat-trick of inter-continental fish-botherers, but had to be content with a westbound common buzzard, a thermalling female sparrowhawk and two peregrine falcons.

Other highlights included a flock of eleven wheatears around 'the chat wall', a trickle of sand martins and 4 or 5 chiffchaffs, one of which was creeping around in the hedge on 'upper track'.

A brilliant male brimstone butterfly was patrolling the edge of Freeman's Wood.

No doubt Jon will be along shortly with a crepuscular update!

* Indeed he will. Not much to report though.
I decided, having seen the LEOs yesterday I'd have a later visit in the hope of determining whether the barn owl was still in the area. Arrived around 7.35pm (a bit late for the long-eareds) and hung around for just over an hour when it became a touch too dark to see much. No barn owl was seen.
2 LRP were on the island, numerous snipe were noisily leaving the pools as the light went - presumably off to feed, a small scattering of sand martin were moving up river but otherwise it was business as usual.
The doe roe deer was showing well and good numbers of pipistrelle were tazzing around.

Dan, are you sure that pic's not of a swallow tailed kite or booted eagle?

Incidentally I had what looked very much like a house martin bombing over my backyard just before 6pm...

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