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No rest for the wicked

Posted by on March 30, 2014 8:22 PM | 

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Busy, busy, busy this last week or more, mainly with hosting a great nautical archaeology course on the coast, which culminated in a cracking walk out to the wreck of the Ionic Star and its neighbour the Bradda (?) off Formby on a low, low tide this evening.
Don't try this at home folks - there are only a few tides low enough to get out to it safely each year, and my risk assessment was longer than "War and Peace".
Well worth it though....

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As the course progressed at several sites on the coast, my timbers were well and truly shivered by the heavy passage of Meadow Pipits going through during the last few days, but I had little time to look for anything else.
A Merlin haring after them over the dunes at Ainsdale yesterday morning was good though.
A "barnacle break" after a Mother's Day lunch today saw me nip into Haskayne Cutting to try to get in on some of the migration action...loads of Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock on the wing, with at least three singing Chiffchaff was okay.

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Reed Bunts and singing Yellowhammer in the warm air as usual, with plenty of bees emerging from the grasses and the ubiquitous Common Buzzard on the pylon - a very pleasant 15 minutes before I was back to futtocks and iron knees.

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Several large (50+ birds) flocks of Mipits on Plex too.
But just one Wheatear - on Carr Moss.
Off tomorrow, so might try to get out for some proper spring stuff.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...

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Today at Birkdale LNR, 450 Mipits, plus 100 an hour going over, 27 Wheatear, with 8 on Greenbank field and the rest on the practice green; also 2 Crossbills, 5 Chiffys, 4 Blackcap and a Peregrine.

At least 18 Wheatears north and south of Weld Road car park, Birkdale this afternoon.

On Thursday 10 and 17 April, staff and volunteers at Leighton Moss RSPB will be holding ‘What lives beneath?’ family pond dipping activities, allowing visitors to explore this secret world.
Families can also take part in the Baby Bird Trail, a self-led activity running throughout April. Uncover facts about the reserve’s special birds and their chicks on this free trail, which visitors can enjoy anytime between 9.30 am-4 pm.
There are two pond dipping sessions to choose from; either 11.30 am-1 pm or 1.30-3 pm. The cost is £4 per child (Wildlife Explorer members £2) and the activity is recommended for children over the age of 5, who must be accompanied by an adult. Booking is essential, please call the reserve on 01524 701601.
For more details on these events and other activities at Leighton Moss, visit the website rspb.org.uk/leightonmoss.

Cycling to work this morning heard Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer and Chiffchaff going through Westhead.
But best of all when I went into the mowing shed at work, standing there was a Water Rail.
Don't know what it was doing there, but nice too see all the same.

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