Monday, 31 March 2014

Trickle of Sand

Hi.  Dan again.

Began my birding day with three hours of Osprey vigil from my high altitude vantage point.

There were to be no raptors exceeding the size of Common Buzzard but it was pleasant enough while I waited. I had packed a pad and paper thinking they would help log a mammoth Meadow Pipit count, but the mipit flow was more modest than in recent days.

Anyhow, the mid-morning vis mig tally was still headed by Anthus pratensis, with 161 pipits heading NE. The trickle was rock-steady with 55 in the first hour, 47 in the second and 59 in hour three.

Sand Martin passage was light but steady too, with 12 NE in the same too. 13 Lesser Redpolls went over in twos and threes. 8 Skylarks, 3 Greenfinches, 3 Siskins and a high-flying Stock Dove added variety.

In the heading-in-the-right-direction-but possibly-just-locals category (yes, that one) were 3 Linnets, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 9 Goldfinches and 2 Chaffinches.

While I was on Aldcliffe Mountain the strains of a Willow Warbler floated up from Freeman's Wood, and both Grey (hooray) and Red-legged (boo) partridges were heard.

Later I did a couple hours of wandering at estuary level with mipit and Sand Martin passage
continuing well into the afternoon. I only made a count of the latter-- a further 11 heading NE.

Four Stock Doves billing and cooing near Aldcliffe village was a pleasing sight, and my first patch Eider of the year floated up on another big tide, but I was most happy with the discovery of 4 Green Sandpipers. One (perhaps the regular of recent weeks) was by Frog Pond, while a party of three were at a large grassy puddle. A nice count for spring.

Chiffchaffs were again to the fore, a Blackcap was singing at Stodday ETW but Goldcrests were down to just two.

A Black-tailed Godwit at The Flood was in non-breeding plumage, in contrast to yesterday's russet duo. LRPs were notable by their absence, As were Pink-footed Geese.

Mammals were represented by one each of rabbit, hare and weasel.

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