An hour or so trawling around the patch yesterday morning certainly felt different. Up until 3 days ago there were still numbers of common darters and migrant hawkers zipping around, while red admirals and a painted lady were busy cruising the brambles. It felt like summer was drawing to a very lazy close. Then POW.
Yesterday was the first time in months that I didn't see a single swallow, the wiser birds having legged it before things turned nasty. There were of course still a few chiffchaffs tagging along with the tit flocks and a handful of goldcrests were also in and out of the hedges.
Gadwall numbers on Freeman's Pool had risen to 10 but otherwise duck numbers seem to be slow in building up.
A few meadow pipits were on the move but more significantly I had my first rock pipits (2) of the season near the Creek.
The small flock of 19 pink-footed geese present on the marsh late last week had moved on, presumably to join the 40-odd thousand at Martin Mere...
The lapwing, golden plover and starling flocks on the estuary were kept exercised by hunting peregrine, sparrowhawk and kestrel.
The green sandpiper was on Frog Pond, before moving on to the Flood.
That's it for me for several days now. It's now up to the other regular Aldcliffe birders to find a yellow-browed warbler or Richard's pipit - I'm off to the Scillies where my chances of coming across either of those scarce birds (and many others) will be significantly improved...