Friday, 25 April 2014

Ga-ga for Cuc-koo

Above: Whinchat, Red-breasted Merganser, Wheatears.
Dan here.
There were plenty of pretty things to look at this morning, but highlight was the sound of a male Cuckoo in song at the north end of Ashton golf course. As I heard it from Stodday sewage works it just about qualifies as an Aldcliffe record, and as Jon later heard it from the north of the patch it must have been heading that way anyway.
It didn't seem to linger, which sadly is to be expected for what is nowadays an almost exclusively upland species in England.  
Other songsters included Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats, with five males each holding territory along the main drag. I ventured a daring 300m south of the Stodday picnic area and added two singing Common Whitethroats to that tally.
Much chatisfaction was gained when I bumped into Guy, who put me onto two male Whinchats near Darter Pool, where I got some beauty and the beast shots of one dazzler atop a monster shite-heap.
A few Wheatears were scattered around and making the place look tidy; two in the maize fields (where 3 Lapwing chicks were seen), two on the saltmarsh, two in the flood field and, over in the NE of the parish, a flock of six in the newly-acquired FLORA site.
Vis mig was as dead as can be first thing (ie one mipit), but as the morning progressed a few redpolls (6) siskins (2-3) and sand martins (15 noted) started slipping north.
The estuary was pleasantly ducky, with eleven Eiders (nine drakes) four Red-breasted Mergansers and 28 Shelducks. Two Whimbrels nipped south over the rising tide.

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