Monday, 9 September 2013

Migrants On The Move

I had my first real taste of autumn birding at Aldcliffe, since my return to the UK, this morning. Initially it didn't seem too birdy and I struggled to find anything of much note for the first hour or so of being out.

Little grebe and chick
Feeman's Pools were pretty uneventful with just the usual suspects on show; tufted duck (1 fem), grey heron (7), little grebe (6 + chick), coot, moorhen, etc.
A decent gathering of lapwing were assembled on the Lune mud off Marsh Point along with a scattering of gulls.
There were plenty of swallows milling about with quite a few house martins mixed in.
3 wigeon were on Darter Pool and a reed bunting was calling from the surrounding maize.
There was a farm truck rounding up sheep at the Wildfowlers' Pools as I arrived, causing 40+ teal to take to the air but I didn't notice anything else coming off the site.
The Flood was well and truly flooded, but unfortunately no passing stints, ruff or other common-ish passage waders had dropped in. A pair of green sandpiper were present as were 14 snipe.
Along the cycle track a few chiffchaffs and a couple of willow warblers were seen and heard along the way. I checked Stodday sewage works but all was quiet, and I couldn't see much on the river by the pylons, beyond the usual stuff.
I then noticed a few meadow pipit coming through, calling overhead. As I cycled back toward Aldcliffe Hall Lane I spotted a wheatear out on the marsh near Snipe Bog. I stopped and noticed a further half dozen. And yet more meadow pipits continued to pass over. Soon I had counted at least 26 wheatear - things were seemingly on the move!
A phyllosc flitted into the hedge by Walled Meadow and I checked it out - chiifchaff. Then a larger bird came into view, a juv/female redstart! As I scanned along the hedge I could see several more chiffchaffs and willow warblers and the a cracking spotted flycatcher. Within a couple of minutes another 2 spot flies had joined the gang along with at least 2 whitethroat. I spent the next 40 minutes grilling the area but didn't add anything to the tally. I wonder what, if anything, lurked unseen...!

On a less thrilling note, some kind soul (arse - soul?) deposited a fine collection of old fridge freezers on the cycletrack. Magnificent.        


ray said...

Remember I met you outside Ray Towers on Thursday ...well, i trundled down to the estuary and there were 2 adult Meds on the mud just after you've gone through the cutting with the horsy fields. I think this is an aldcliffe "amount" med tick for me.Two-meds Jackson or what!

Paul Maxwell said...

Hi John
Nice to see you in the flesh and have a chat. It's been some time since I was on you site, however I shall make a point of Visiting your blog as often as I can. Great site and keep up the good work Cheers for now Paul

Paul Maxwell said...

Hi John
I was out this morning. would i be right when i say i think i saw Several common gulls mixed in with herring gulls, lesser black backed gulls. and hundreds of lapwings all along the shore. as i am still new to brid watching i am still not so sure about ID of some birds. but i had my book with me and i think they were common Gulls? Cheers Paul

Jon Carter said...

Hi Paul - yep, common gulls occur in the Aldcliffe area. Despite their name, they are the least numerous of the 'common' species here. They can often be seen feeding alongside black-headed gulls in the fields - and it's always worth keeping an eye out for Mediterranean gulls too as there are usually one or two around!

Paul Maxwell said...

Thanks Jon
I will keep my book with me if i go out Tomorrow you never know i may just see a Med Gull. it give high winds for tomorrow so i do not know what it will be like for watching birds.
cheers for now Paul
PS hope you do not mind me picking your brains now and again.