Saturday, 7 March 2009

Wet from the west

Unfortunately my only window of opportunity today coincided with a band of horizontal rain sweeping up the Lune that made birding both difficult and rather unpleasant.
A couple of hours trawling the patch in a sodden state 'rewarded' me with the following highlights:

1 spotted redshank on the marsh pool again, viewed from the gate at the bottom of Railway Crossing, or Aldcliffe Hall, Lane depending on which map you use.
200ish pinkfeet & little egret on the marsh.
Another little egret at Frog Pond.
1 soggy roosting long-eared owl.
4 tufted duck, 14 coot, 16 snipe, 8 teal and just 1 visible little grebe at Freeman's Pools.

I think I might give owling a miss this evening...


Couldn't resist the temptation - it had stopped raining and at 4.30pm I headed down. Just before I reached the Marsh Point end of the path the LEO flew up and landed a few yards from me. We stared into each other's eyes for a minute or so and then it started hunting over the SW corner of the Pools area, punctuated by occasional post-sitting. One thing it did today that I hadn't observed before was hover intently a couple of times.
It eventually flew over the banking and again hunted along the river edge, often landing on the fence posts just metres from me.
It then took off over the river and headed for the tip but was immediately set upon by a pair of carrion crows. Eventually it flew into a clump of trees where the crows and a bunch of magpies began to mob it. It stayed put and after several minutes I left to see if anything was showing from the cycle track area.
I left just before 6pm and neither short-eared or barn owl had appeared.

Thanks to Jeff Butcher for the pic above, taken last week.