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Sleepbirding

Posted by on November 16, 2012 7:37 PM | 

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Question: Just how many years have I been wobbling out onto the marsh on raw, misty November days designed specifically by the weather gods to bring you down?
Answer: Far too many (actually, and terrifyingly, 39, and I've still learnt nothing).
Yup, Marshside was murky evocative and following the all too familiar pattern of early winter when I wandered out into the Sandplant Compound an hour or so before the tide today, with Skylarks, Mipits, Reed Bunts, Goldfinches and Gringoes in the air over the rubble, largely down to the encroaching tide and the presence of a cheeky Merlin and a distant Peregrine on the out marsh.

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Plenty of Little Egrets about, but not too many Pinkies, perhaps a few hundred, until they began floating off the mosses in hordes later in the afternoon.
A distant Whooper was on the tide's edge, and amongst the infinite lines of Cormorants, a single Common Scoter flew north up the estuary.
Snipe, Goldies, Blackwits, Lapwings and Redshanks about the creeks and on Marshside One and Two, with Water Rail squealing away beside the Sandgrounders Hide.
Made it up to Crossens Outer an hour or so after the tide receded, only to learn I'd missed a flyover Lapland Bunt by 30 mins.
Luckily the Great White Blob was present to make up for that particular bit of pain, attempting to imitate a fence post about two million miles away on the out marsh, and making a very poor job of it too.

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Be still my beating heart.
It flew even further away a short time later, although NASA kindly texted to say they could still just about pick it up at 1400 hours, deep inside of the Fylde/Van Allen Belt.
A Grey Wag was feeding around the cattle culverts, with Pied Wags and a few flocks of Golden Plover dropped in to join the wildfowl and waders.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...


6 Comments

345 Whooper Swans at Hundred End yesterday (15/11) but not there today after I met you at Crossens.
Colin

It seemed like an auspicious start to the day when Wren and Great Spotted Woodpecker turned up in our neighborhood along with a large party of foraging Blackbirds.
I headed off to Formby to try and retrace some of the steps of this week's Birdblog posters and track down some Waxwings.
These would be a first for me and I was encouraged by the numbers being reported throughout the week.
Unfortunately I drew a blank, all the more surprising given the number of bushes still bearing lots of berries.
I made two passes through Plex but it was very quiet (and very flooded). Just picked up Kestrel, Common Buzzard, and an army of crows and two Song Thrush accompanied by Greenfinch and Chaffinch.

John,
Had a pleasant five minutes at Ainsdale yesterday afternoon with a sizeable high-tide wader roost, including about 500 Sanderling.
Only five minutes because, inevitably, a woman with two dogs walked along the tide edge and flushed the lot!
About 40 Twite at Weld Road, Birkdale, plus a Jack Snipe.
Phil.

I can echo Phil's comment there, I was happily watching waders roosting off Taggs Island, Birkdale this afternoon when a dog came out of nowhere, no-one in sight, ran at them two or three times until it flushed the lot.
I started shouting at it to eff off and waving my tripod etc, it turned tail, ran generally in my direction then raced off north and away, as far I could tell inland across the alder scrub and marsh and I didn't see it again.
Pain in the neck it is when dogs flush them.

Hi John, what do you know about access to the LWT reserve at Sefton Meadows? I've located the area on an old OS map, but can't find much info about access points on the web.
Might have to cycle down the Cheshire Lines and explore.
Large numbers of geese on the mosses behind the shops on Heathfield Rd in Ainsdale, makes an awesome sight and sound at around 1620 each day, walked past the other day and they stayed settled.

Watched a flock of about 20-25 Waxwings in Milner Street, near Warrington town centre Saturday around 12:30.
They seemed to favour the trees near the VW showroom and have been present for a few days I was told.

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