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Mmmm, still peachy after all these years...

Posted by on March 25, 2014 6:18 PM | 


Called in at Weld Road at lunchtime to have a look at how the new Natterjack slack is settling in, especially as small groups of Mipits had been heading north at Ainsdale for most of the morning.
I was happy to see five lovely Wheatears flycatching from the uniposts and old railings in the drizzle up at Birkdale.
Always a buzz at the beginning of the season, they were hyperactive, sallying from perches like Spotflys, or running around in the grasses after food.
Marvellous, even in the rain.


At one point the Wheatears lined up on the metal fenceline with a Skylark, two Mipits and a Reed Bunting - a great line-up, but only the Mipit sat still long enough for me to get my camera out!


Three or four Pied Wags about too.
A shadowy sneaky shape moving through the sedges grabbed my attention at the edge of the marsh, but soon revealed itself as a Mistle Thrush a few seconds later - a good tease though.
After work the light was failing fast, so that most cars had full headlights on by 5.30pm at Marshside, where the gull cacophony on the Sandplant lagoon was the only real action, with three Snipe creeping along the back bank.
Not much point in birding in the poor light, there will be other evenings.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...



One of my favourite occurrences during migration seasons is when winter and summer birds overlap. At HOM a year or two ago I watched a huge flock of Swallows moving south while the first Pinkfeet landed on the marsh. This morning, whilst enjoying the Chiffchaff in Coronation Park, Ormskirk, I was surprised and delighted to see that the presumed Song Thrush that emerged from the hedge below it was actually a Redwing.
It's often the little things that bring the greatest pleasure.
And so it was this evening. When I went to admire the sunset from the bottom of the garden, I was also able to watch a group of Brown Hares doing exactly what they're supposed to do in March, while a Yellowhammer sang from next door's garden.

Hesketh Golf Course to Crossens Sewage Works, 1220-1550: total 10 Wheatears (all males), 4 Sand Martins, 1 Swallow, 4 singing Chiffchaffs; steady northbound trickle of Meadow Pipits (80-100).
3 Mediterranean Gulls, a summer adult at Nel's Hide and 2 second summers in the Lagoons area.
Long-tailed Duck still at Nel's; totals c 85 Avocets, 20 Ruffs. Water Rail again squealing in SSSI ditch.

2 Swallows heading north along Ainsdale beach today.

A fruitful few hours ; 5 Wheatear and male White Wag at Weld Rd, also 13 Ringed Plover, 6 Wheatear by the Eco centre and a Willow Warbler singing and showing well at Queens Jubilee, possibly my earliest ever.
5 Med Gulls up at Sandgrounders, 2 adults and 3 second S, 2 with full hood and 1 with a slightly speckled hood.
Also 2 Swallow north over the Saltmarsh c2.30.

Yesterday I saw that Lapwing have returned to their nesting patch on Bickerstaffe moss. Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunts and Skylarks all singing away in the blustery sunshine too. Buzzard soaring opposite Bickerstaffe Woods and Kestrel hunting around the canal at Lydiate. There must have been a dozen Collared Dove raiding some feeders near the water treatment plant in Downholland, much to the disgruntlement of the assembled finches and parids.

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