Thursday, 10 February 2011

Back Patching.......

First time down the old patch for a while, family commitments meant birding was off the agenda. So today was brilliant getting into some Aldcliffe “normality”! I began at Freeman's Pools; a Kestrel flew over the heading towards the old tip. The pools were busy 23 Wigeon, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Oystercatcher, 17 Goldeneye, 2 Mute Swan, 25 BH Gull, 6 Coot, 4 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 7 Teal and 2 Grey Heron. Pair of Mistle Thrush was in the woods opposite and 26 Fieldfare flew over heading south.
At Marsh Point were 24 Oystercatcher, 35 Lapwing, 9 Herring Gull, 25 Common Gull and 90 BH Gull. The marsh was fairly quiet with 24 Mute Swan and about 20 Canada Geese. I cycled down to the railway cutting and was struck by the amount of birds on the river banking, mud and marsh. Approx 2500 Lapwing, 111 Golden Plover, 93 Dunlin, 66 Redshank 38 Curlew, 25 Shelduck, 9 LBB Gull, 450 BH Gull and as I was counting the Dunlin chaos ensued as a Peregrine bombed in and flushed most of the birds, I then saw all the Starling, at least 900 split off into three flocks.
I continued towards the pylons, another Kestrel was near the farm, and heard another singing Chaffinch, a Bullfinch was also heard along with Goldfinch. At the picnic site another peregrine flew over flushing yet more Lapwings by the sewage outlet. I then saw a Stonechat on the fence posts which was a great bonus. 2 Little Egrets were on the marshy bit, and a further bird on the far side of the river.
I cycled past the sewage works and could hear a peregrine screeching from the pylon, I reckon they will breed this year, hope so. I made my way back along the road, at Aldcliffe village there was a flock of 40 Redwing in the trees, also of note was a pair of Nuthatch. Great couple of hours.



Pete Woodruff said...

Good to see your Stonechat sighting which you rightly highlighted Steve.

A bit early for a passage bird, and whether or not its the one I saw at Conder Green two hours or so earlier we'll never know, but makes you wonder, which is what we have to do a lot of about the birds....WONDER.

Jon Carter said...

Yep - the first Aldcliffe stonechats always made me feel that spring was just arounn the corner!
It seems about a week early for a passage bird, from what I recall. Presumably an early bird on the move though surely? Have there been many wintering in Bowland this year? As you say Pete, we have a lot to wonder about where birds are concerned!

Pete Woodruff said...

Looks like I need to be in touch Jon, put you more clearly in the picture about what's going on in your own/old stamping ground and beyond, in particular re Stonechats, though I reckon your beady eyes haven't been to far away from 'what's going on' over here. I'll look for some free time to do this.

Hope the move to Canada has proved to have been a good one Jon.

Kind Regards.