Sunday, 2 October 2011

Quality not quantity today

The Safari forgot to put the moth trap on last night but in the end it didn't matter cos when we went out with Frfank before dawn it was raining...sort of putting the kybosh on any vis mig but looking good for any grounded migrants.

Once Big F was breakfasted we headed to Chat Alley for an hour to see if anything had dropped hadn't.

With heavy drizzle on and off there was little moving and even less grounded. Two Grey Wagtails were first up and then it was a long time before the next sightng, which was of a ??? which dropped like a stone behind the sea wall - we raced down the cliff-face steps but couldn't relocate whatever it was.

Two Redshanks did a bit of calling and parallel walking and a single Turnstone flew by.

We heard a single Meadow Pipit.

Once again a Great Black Backed Gull and a Carrion Crow tucked into yet more dead Lesser Spotted Catsharks.

On the beach towards the end of our shortened walk we spotted a somewhat unusual Lesser Black Backed Gull. A couple or three shades of grey darker than the other LBBGs aound it, stuck out like a sore thumb actually, still white headed and had long wings but we don't think it was quite dark enough for Baltic Gull, will have to have to look up 'intermedius'.
At the very death four more Grey Wagtails flew past and briefly landed briefly on the rocks.

A quick look in the small gardens gave us a handful of Robins, a noisy Wren, a sub-songing Blackbird and a female Blackcap, left-over from yesterday?

Back at Base Camp we had our usual Sunday morning bacon butty and decided to check out the nature reserve for any grounded migrants and as one of the young ones was supposed to be going up for the Lesser Yellow Legs we'd wait for news as there wasn't any from yesterday.

We were half way there when the Ranger phoned asking us if we knew about the Solitary Sandpiper just over the river...we didn't...ABOUT TURN - FOOT DOWN!!!

This was a first for Lancashire and shouldn't be missed. Arriving at the farm there was a fair crowd gathering. Former county recorder MJ offered us a scope view as soon as we arrived so we could get our bearings. Solitary Sandpiper (199) in the bag and yet another lifer for 2011 - what is it about this year...had about a decades worth this year.

It was a little distant and had we found it ourselves we really would have passed it off as a Green Sandpiper - all credit to SP the finder, he really knows his stuff. It took a while but we eventually managed to see the clinching dark rump when it started flitting about a bit.

Also there were a couple of dozen Teal and a few Mallards. A Snipe gave a little fly round and a Coal Tit came out of a nearby Oak tree.

We did eventually get to the nature reserve where we only sat in the FBC hide and saw no grounded migrants but a Little Grebe was a decent find, not seen too many of them this year. A pair of Gadwall we joined by two more noisy males.

Although it was dull and still raining on and off it was warm enough for a few Migrant Hawkers to be on the wing.
In a shower three Wigeon dropped in, later six were flying round but we don't know if it was 3 + 3 or six more. A count of the other ducks gave us 43 Teal mostly in the scrape that was cleared last week and 45 Mallards mostly on the cut reeds in front of the hide with 16 Tufted Ducks out on the water.
Two Water Rails squealed at each other from the reeds either side of the cut area, one briefly showed itself - or at least showed a red bill and a beady eye - and then probably saw us raise the camera and shot back in.
A Cetti's Warbler sang briefly from the left hand reeds but as ever didn't show itself.
Whilst looking for to see if we could get a glimpse of the Cetti's we spotted a tiny movement in the cut reeds.
Can you see it?

A bit easier...

Surely you've got it now...

No not the duck!

Used to get good numbers of Snipe but they seem to have plummeted in recent years and how long is it since we heard on drumming? The younger generation really don't know what they're missing in our 'green and pleasant' land...but the do find Solitary Sandpipers!

Where to next? This will be the last post for a few days and after that we'll be boring you sensless with not a lot from Base Camp so stay tuned.

In the meantime let us know what dropped into your outback for the first time.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Nice bit of intrepid Snipe work there Davo.

good to see you found the Sandpiper