Friday, 21 February 2014

I'm All Right Jack

The bright skies and sunshine were enough to lure me out onto the patch for the rising tide this afternoon. It stayed dry, but man was it breezy!

First off, I checked Freeman's Pools. The usual mix of wigeon, teal, mallard and gadwall were loafing around on and around the island. A little grebe and couple each of moorhen and coot were paddling around and a couple of drake goldeneye were busy displaying energetically to 5 females, of which only one was paying any attention...
A few black-headed gulls, lapwings and a pair of oystercatcher were also on the island.
Along the cycle track it was rather too windy for much passerine activity, though it was nice to see a grey wagtail in the exact spot as the colour-ringed one a few weeks back. Unfortunately, this bird was unringed.
Talking of which, there's a grey wag roost on the canal outside the RSPB offices at White Cross where Gav Thomas and I managed to see a colour-ringed bird earlier in the week. Information received proves it to be a bird that was caught and shackled at Heysham Observatory in September.
Over on the Wildfowlers' Pools a group of 9 shoveler (3 drakes) were new in.
There was nothing of note among the roosting gulls at the Flood, though 4 tufted duck were on the water. Good numbers of curlew, redshank and oystercatcher were feeding there too.
A quick scan of the marsh revealed nowt, but a jack snipe was a nice find at Snipe Bog.
When I was doing the WeBS count on Sunday it struck me that large gulls were notable only by their absence - today, by contrast there were plenty of herring and lesser black-backed gulls on the estuary. What a difference a few days make!


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