The Safari was a the docs again yesterday - hands - and it transpires that the effects of the op we had last June should have lasted a lot longer than 8 months! After the docs we went to get some wood for Little Bertha from PM and his team - many thanks guys much appreciated. Today we stacked the pile nice and neatly then got the big axe out and split any pieces that were too large for Little Bertha's 'mouth'. Now we are suffering and all this flippin typin isn't really helping. tomorrow is likely to be a painful struggle.
Before we went bonkers with the splitting axe we were out early on our new patch - The North Blackpool Pond Trail, southern section. JS covers the crematorium and the northern section which includes Kincraig Lake aka Bispham Marsh where the local and mobile Ring Neck Duck has pitched up in recent days, we've not been to get it on our NBPT list yet.
Will endeavour to get some habbo pics and a plan, per NS's instructions, as time goes on.
We have set ourselves the task of doing a CBC type survey every Saturday morning from now until the end of June. This morning was chilly but not frosty and not a breath of wind. On arriving at the start there was some significant birdsong going on, all the old favourites were represented, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Blue Tit and Woodpigeon. A few yards in and about 1500 Starlings flew over us coming from their North Pier roost, followed by about 10 Fieldfares, later we counted 18 atop a large Hawthorn bush, likely to be the same flock that we only saw part of. A couple of clusters of house Sparrows are to be found along the trail, both associated with modern houses but both flocks are significantly close to a dense old hedgerow.
The NBPT is so called because of its plethora of ponds but this route only takes in one with distant views of two others and the whole of the southern reedbed. Many of the ponds, the reedbed and the wildflower 'mound' are designated County Biological Heritage Sites for a variety of reasons, rare plants, Great Crested Newts, their butterfly assemblage etc. Our visitable pond held a pair of Mallards, a Moorhen (probably another hiding away somewhere) and an unringed Coot. At one point we were scanning across a wet flush in case of Snipe or, rather hopefully, Jack Snipe (they have been seen in the vicinity before) when a Blue Tit popped up from nowhere and needed to be recorded on the clipboard - looking down to write in 'BT' we saw we were almost standing on a Bee Orchid rosette - whoops - a closer inspection of the ground around had us discover another one close by so with carefully placed steps we moved off.
Three Dunnocks chased each other through the hedgerow along the ditch, doing their wing flicking thing while a Robin sang nearby. A few feet away a pair of Greenfinches looked like they were nest prospecting.
Blackbirds were star bird - loads of em but no Mistle Thrushes in the horse fields where we often see them.
All in all a very productive hour's birding and only a stone's throw from Base Camp - wait til the migrants get here!!!
Where to next? The Fylde Bird Club are having a work party at the nature reserve tomorrow so we'll probably go along and say hi - sadly we won't be fit or able enough to join in. Then there's another day off on Monday when we hope, after chores, to have a little trip up north and knock off some of the year birds and see if we can't close the ever widening gap on Monika.
In the meantime let us know what's flitting through the hedgerows in your outback.
Would you belieeeeve it - we've got through a whole post without mentioning the 'G' word!!! Only because we didn't record the hundreds flying over and the large flock of Black Heads with some Commons feeding on the footy field.