I spent two hours on my migration watchpoint up Trespass Hill early afternoon. I faced South and hoped an OP would poke through the curtain of rain and parachutists that was all along the North Fylde, but it didn't.
Some vestiges of passerine vis were to be had however, with around twenty meadow pipits, a lesser redpoll and a few linnets moving into the fresh NE breeze.
Seventeen swallows pushed through also, along with an early house martin. I was a little surprised that sand martins weren't at all in evidence, this species having been the key one on my vigils here this time last year.
Eerily similar to last year was 3Oenanthe oenanthe dropping out of a heavy sky into the same hilltop willow that will now forever be known as the wheatear tree (c.f. my blog 08/04/11 ). A local crow objected to their existence and they flitted low to the W.
I quit the hillock and had a walk round at marsh level like normal people, where a few willow warblers were to be found (silenced by the cold, nagging wind) and around 30 mipits were feeding in the lea of the Aldcliffe Marsh bund.
This is where I bumped into those three male wheatears once more, and also Guy and Ola. The chats were as pleasant and approachable as the McClellands and I got a few decent shots.
Another wheatear, a female, was aloof from this party 200m up the saltmarsh.
Also seen were a grey partridge, three little ringed plovers, and c12 swallows looking for sustenance over Freeman's Pools.