Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Having A Nice Chat

I finally caught up with my first stonechats of the year this afternoon while checking the usual haunts in the Aldcliffe area.
There were 2, both females (pictured), feeding on the saltmarsh between Snipe Bog and Cadaver Corner and loosely associating with a flock of around 20 meadow pipits. About time too!

In other exciting bird news, the little ringed plover was again on The Flood.
This is the first time I've seen this bird in well over a week, despite at least 3 visits.
Whether it's been checking out other spots in the vicinity or simply keeping a low profile I have no idea.

Stonechat, Aldcliffe
As the weather continues to chill us all to the bone it looks unlikely that we'll be getting much significant spring migrant action any time soon if the forecasts are to be believed. Maybe a little more wildfowl and gull movement associated with the icy conditions might make up for that and we may even be fortunate enough to see a scarce grebe or something equally enticing turn up somewhere in the 'hood.
I haven't been able to get out much in the last week or so (among other things, all our worldly belongings arrived from Canada on Thursday), but when I did venture out in the positively Baltic conditions there wasn't much to get excited about.
The roe deer quintet have continued to show well around Freeman's Pools and Jenny and I saw a further 3 near Ashton Hall early last week. We also had great views of a pair of amorous brown hares and killer looks at a weasel which responded well to my pishing.

Gadwall pair, Darter Pool
Wildfowl has been somewhat erratic around the pools with varying numbers of common species present. Slightly unusual was the pair of goosander on Freeman's Pools today while a pair of gadwall seem to have taken a liking to the small Darter Pool (pictured).
Now that I have actually found gainful employment my visits to the parish may well be curtailed somewhat but even with April approaching, I'm not sure I'm going to be missing much too until those winds change direction...        

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