Saturday, 21 December 2013

We Will Rook You

Had a good rummage around the patch over the high tide today.
With the continuing unremarkable weather remaining damp, blustery and relatively mild nothing much had changed on the whole.
Freeman's Pools weren't exactly teeming with wildfowl, the tally being just 5 goldeneye, 7 tufted duck, 6 gadwall, 5 wigeon, 12 teal and 7 mallard. A couple of little grebe and 5 coot were also present as was a snipe.
Another little grebe and a female tufted duck were on Frog Pond while 12 moorhen were feeding in the field by Heron Pool.
A single coot was on Darter Pool and 42 moorhen were by the Wildfowlers' Pools.

There has been some work going on near the pathway junction, with hedgerow at the northern end of the upper track having been partly dug out and levelled.
This area is/was usually pretty good for migrant warblers, goldcrests and tit flocks and once held a roosting long-eared owl. Recently it has been popular with lots of redwing and blackbirds.
In the water-filled tractor ruts a grey wagtail was feeding but it seemed pretty nervous and wouldn't settle. This was most unfortunate as the bird was sporting colour rings.

I could make out a yellow plastic ring on the right leg and red one, over a metal ring, on the left leg but no other colour rings - perhaps there was a black ring below the yellow on the right leg that didn't seem obvious?
In these crappy distant shots, you can make out the yellow ring.
This bird is presumably one from the ringing scheme featured on the Heysham Observatory blog site.

A small gathering of corvids in the fields to the east of the upper track was notable for having 5 rooks mixed in. Carrion crows and jackdaws are of course common in the Aldcliffe area but rooks are pretty scarce down here, so they're always a treat to see. In fact ravens are far easier to find on the patch, with one or two almost always to be found around the estuary.

I couldn't find any pipits or finches along the tide line or on the marsh though I did note 11 snipe at Snipe Bog. The usual common waders and gulls were all present and correct and a scan through the assembled mute swans revealed no 'wild' swans. All the geese and egrets were on the other side of the river - just 6 pinkfeet flew over.
The hawthorns along Dawson's Bank were still attracting good numbers of thrushes with plenty of fieldfare and few redwing in the mix.


1 comment:

Paul Maxwell said...

Hi Jon
I have been out and about. But as i am new to bird watching i find it difficult Identify a lot of the birds Although I have a very good set of binoculars 10-40 I think I need something a bit stronger so I can zoom in on a bird it would have be light but with a lot of magnification. Could you possibly point me in the right direction?
Cheers for now Paul