Thursday, 12 February 2015

Going Green

A hectic week of uni meant a refreshing visit to the patch this afternoon was most welcome and the birds were certainly out in force. A lack of rain over the past week meant the Flood had started to dry up exposing some inviting muddy edges which look perfect for waders, it held just 9 Dunlin of note today but could be interesting to keep an eye on.

The river was surprisingly busy with at least 250 Wigeon and 50 Teal milling around along with 3 Goldeneye (1 male), 3 Little Grebe and a single Great-crested Grebe down towards Stodday. A couple of hundred gulls were bathing off Gull Bank but there wasn't anything out of the ordinary present, and the same was the case at Snipe Bog where there weren't any Snipe at all to be found, clearly all at the FAUNA reserve judging by the monthly flush counts!

Up until this point the birding had been pretty similar to previous weeks however like buses good birds come along in groups and this spell was started at the Wildfowlers Pool where a pair of Shoveler were present, as was the Green Sandpiper which was feeding in the channel that leads up to the river bank. Just over the bank on the marsh the flashes were holding an increased number of Little Egrets with at least 6 seen, and after a bit of searching the ever elusive  Greenshank showed itself briefly before disappearing back down a creek. Over the noise of around 1500 Pink-footed Geese feeding on the marsh (I failed to find anything of note amongst them) came the cronking calls of a pair of Ravens which leisurely flew over towards Glasson, leaving Rook as the only 'common' corvid species that I need for the patch year.

Freemans Pool was livelier than of late with 8 Tufted Duck and a few Teal and Wigeon, along with 4 Gadwall and a Little Egret on one of the back pools closer to the river. A pair of Goldeneye dropped in briefly before returning to the river where they had come from. A mixed flock of Redwing and manly Fieldfare were feeding along the edge of the Stubble Field with the usual pair of Grey Partridge, it is always a delight to see this species as Aldcliffe is the only place I see them now locally.

 
Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Raven and Shoveler take me up to 76 species (79 points) for the patch year.
 
Jonathan



1 comment:

David Gascoigne said...

Great post. I have to ask. What is a hectic week of uni?