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"Give it the beans!"

Posted by on April 30, 2014 5:49 PM | 

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A phrase beloved of Mr Hunt on one of our foreign trips (can't remember which one - Costa Rica?) whenever encouraging Trops to punch the accelerator, but equally applicable to this Wren blasting out from the top of a pine at Cabin Hill this morning where I spent an enjoyable few hours from 0930.
Light rain promised some migrant action, but that didn't really materialise, although a Whinchat was nice, if distant.

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My earliest birding memory concerns Whinchats - my late uncle, the ringer Dave Low putting fledglings in my cupped hands as a child, when Whinchats still bred in rabbit burrows in the dunes at Hightown - don't like to think how long ago that was, but it was certainly pre-decimalisation!
Fairly humid this morning with plenty of the commoner warblers singing, and a Gropper reeling from the security of Altcar Rifle Range.

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Only noticed one Wheatear, big and Greenlandy, but there must have been more...Reed Bunts were perched up on just about every suitable hawthorn, and at least 6 Willow Warblers were singing in the scattered scrub, while a damp Brown Hare lolloped past me in the rain.

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Three Redpolls over and at least 20 Swallows through, with more ripping about that seemed more settled.
A Stonechat will hopefully stick around to breed unlike the now transient Whinchats, but like I said, I didn't get the impression of a great deal of movement going on this morning.

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With the sun breaking through and the temperature rising I decided to take a loop through the sycamores at Ravenmeols, where 3 Chiffchaffs were singing, as were 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Whitethroats at the edges and a Greater 'Pecker was drumming alongside other woodland species.

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Just before heading back up Range Lane, I had another quick scan of the fields and saw a Hooded Crow in amongst the other corvids - lovely bird, but crafty as Hoodies always are, refusing to allow me to get close, so I had to make do with poor distant record shots.

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Don't know if this is a long-staying individual at Cabin Hill - I don't get down to this marvellous corner of the coast often enough these days...maybe regulars Tim Vaughan or Lawrence Atters could shed some light on that?
Nearest breeding Hoodies are on the Isle of Man I think, although I have come across them in the fields at Cabin Hill before.
Headed out onto the mosses at lunchtime in the hope of heavier rain bringing down the goodies, but it didn't happen.
A male Sprawk had an eye out on the Withins, while Plex had 3 White Wags and 3 Wheatears, but while it's peak week for Dotterels (none today) on here going on past years, the crops are sprouting up mighty quickly.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...

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5 Comments

9 Whimbrel and a 10-strong mixed group of White and Pied Wags on Plex this afternoon.

Common Sandpiper on Sands Lake, Ainsdale, today.

Marshside/Crossens, 1020-1400:
12 Whitethroats and 14 Sedge Warblers singing along the road edges between the Sewage Works and Hesketh Road platform...most are probably territorial males by now.
Male Garganey feeding out in the open near the south end of Rimmer's Marsh, presumably the elusive individual that's been around since about 20 April.
New migrants totalled 10 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat, 2 Willow Warblers, c. 25 Swallows and my first two northbound Swifts high over the saltmarsh.
Most of our Ruffs seem to have cleared off, this time without any sustained lekking activity.

Is it my imagination, or is Whitethroat the most common bird at the moment? A walk around the Ainsdale dunes seemed to confirm this impression and we even had one singing in the garden this morning, a first - if brief - occurrence.
Tony

2 Lesser Whitethroats at KBO this morning.

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