Sunday, 30 March 2014

Skein Sunday

Dan here.

Another warm day with plenty of sunshine and quite a few birds.

Two Stock Doves were at Freeman's Pools just after sunrise, with ten Rooks cawing in treetops nearby. A pair of Grey Partridges were near Frog Pond, where 50 Oystercatchers had congregated.
Two Iceland race Black-tailed Godwits were feeding on the marsh and 2 Tree Sparrows were at the foot of Aldcliffe Hall Lane.

Goldcrest passage was evidenced by at least ten individuals.  It's been a very good spring so far for Chiffchaffs, with 12 this morning-- including a cluster of six around Stodday sewage works. You could hardly move for pollen horns! Yesterday's Willow Warbler seemed to have moved on.

A Blackcap was singing in the Aspen plantation by the ETW.

Young Guy McLlelland had two Wheatears along Dawson's Bank, and a further four were resting on Trig Point Hill. Guy came across the conspicuously pale-headed Long-tailed Tit that I had a while back. It was building another nest (for another mate?) two kilometres from the first!

800 Pink-footed geese were on Colloway Marsh in the morning. Later in the day they were agitated by the spring tide and the jet skis and took to the air. They circled the area and were joined by a similar number from the south. They rose in a swarm to about 250m above the Overton / Bazil Point area. It was an odd sight, reminiscent of how a Black-throated Diver laboriously gathers height over its breeding loch-- times 1500.
The swarm fragmented and a skein of about 500 formed and headed N over Morecambe at 300m. Next stop Iceland?

This was seen from my drumlin vantage point (permit only) where I put in a couple of hours of raptor vigil in the early afternoon. No luck with migrating trout-hawks, but it was a good spot to observe the NE Meadow Pipit passage which was obvious all day. It peaked mid-morning at around 200 per hour. Two Sand Martins also flitted past, as did 2 Lesser Redpolls. Two drake Goosanders also went over and Sparrowhawk, Buzzards and Ravens were airborne too.

Butterflies were widespread-- the vast majority being Small Tortoiseshells but also two each of Peacock, Comma and Brimstone.


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