Saturday, 1 September 2018

The Promise of Autumn

Well, that was a long time between posts wasn't it folks?
I have to say, despite my not posting anything on here since the beginning of April there's hardly been an outcry from my loyal readers... one or two mentions here and there just about covers it.
So, what's the reason for the lack of input on my part? I don't really know, to be honest. I've been birding around the Aldcliffe area as usual but I've been somewhat uninspired by my wanderings. The terrible weather in spring meant little in the way of passage migrants on the patch and the wonderful summer heatwave was admittedly good for many breeding birds though was dull as far as variety goes.
And here we are, about to embark on autumn - surely the most exciting of all seasons in the birders' calendar. But before we look at the potential joys of September, here are few notable records from the pat few months:
April 13 - marsh harrier
May 5 - very long overdue patch tick came in the form of a red kite (about bloody time!)
May 25 - marsh harrier & 2 ruff
June 25 - first post-breeding green sandpiper back in the area

Little ringed plovers eventually appeared but in lower numbers than in recent years and didn't breed anywhere on the patch.
Lapwings had a better year, thanks to the wet fields delaying ploughing. Several young fledged from the maize fields and a couple got off from the Wildfowlers' Pools.
Oystercatchers fledged at least one young and there were two broods of tufted ducks at Freeman's Pools.
short-eared owl was seen by a dog walker in early July - we occasionally get wandering post-breeders passing through in late summer but they never linger. It would be nice to get a wintering bird on the patch this year.

As autumn proceeds I expect things will start picking up a bit - yesterday I had a couple of flyover meadow pipits and a pair of wheatears on the saltmarsh, so things are looking up! Wader numbers have been pretty dire with just the lone green sandpiper commuting between the pools. A few more duck are dribbling in with 9 gadwall back on patch.