Saturday, 6 September 2014

No Rain, No Gain

The early morning rain had me all excited and I headed out to Aldcliffe with high expectations. To be honest, I always head out with high (some may say, unrealistic) expectations but morning rain during migration time never fails to get the optimism-ometer really revved up.
It was soon pretty clear that there were loads of grounded chiffchaffs around, I must have seen well in excess of 40 around the patch. The largest number involved a lively tit-flock that was actually more of a chiffchaff flock and contained 18 chiffs plus a single willow warbler.
After yesterday's acro-fest, I didn't come across a single reed or sedge warbler today but I did find 3 common whitethroat, 1 lesser whitethroat and a lone blackcap.
There were 3 wheatear at the Flood and a further 8 (at least) on the Marsh.
When the rain finally stopped things changed quite rapidly with northbound skylarks, meadow pipits and 5 grey wagtails audibly announcing their presence. Hirundines too started to move and along with birds stopping to feed small gangs of swallow and house martin passed through at height.
Alas, there were no wrynecks or even whinchat or redstart to get the pulse racing but nonetheless it's always a thrill to get out when things are clearly on the move.
Other stuff around the Aldcliffe patch included an increase in the number of gadwall on Freeman's Pools (now 6), the kingfisher in-residence at the Wildfowlers' Pools and at least a dozen reed bunting  and a pair of linnet by the maize fields.
I had ace views of a stoat along the cycle track and a couple of roe deer were up by Freeman's.


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