Saturday, 20 October 2012

Go round the back

The Safari forgot to mention the nice male Blackcap yesterday that was enjoying the Hawthorn berries in the hedge separating the wetland from the allotments along with 17 or more Blackbirds and a Redwing that dropped in from a fair height. First we've seen for a while.
This morning we were in our vis migging position before it was light thanks to Frank for getting up too early but not early enough to make it worthwhile going back to bed.
It really wasn't worth going out as there wasn't a great deal doing at all. It was well light before we had cause to get the notebook out of the old pocket. A distant flock of about 40 Pink Footed Geese going north to their feeding grounds, the first of  three flocks totaling about 180 birds.
Next in was the local Kestrel whereas the Song Thrush that cam from over the trees and kept going southwards over our head and away was deffo a migrant.
We were stood on the railway bridge and at head height next to us were the tops of the bushes growing on the embankment where out of the gloom a Goldcrest appeared before flitting across the lines and disappearing in to the undergrowth.
A Chaffinch 'chupped' on its way past and five Greenfinch dropped in to the end of the hedges, they seem to be unwilling to pass in to/over the urban area. Similarly two Redwings dropped in to the hedge and started feeding alongside half a dozen or so Blackbirds, of which about 20 were seen altogether although they were very mobile.
As we were leaving a bit fed up with the lack of passage a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over us followed shortly afterwards by two 'alba' Wagtails.
The light was gorgeous as the sun eased over the eastern horizon giving the field's residents and surround autumnal coloured trees a lovely glow.

This Maple is the most advanced in the area, not sure which species of maple it is, no to go back and have a look at its leaves.
On the way back to Base Camp we had three then two Mistle Thrushes, we weren't sure about the first three's migrant status but the other tow were at on an aerial and when a Sparrowhawk flushed them they set off high to the south; as it happens there's been a few on the move across the region today. 
Mid morning Frank decided he had to do a full Patch 1 walk. In teh park we had a small flock of Long Tailed Tits, a Coal Tit, more likely a local breeder than one of the recent influx, and two Goldcrests...and Frank enjoyed himself too good to see he's on the mend and wanting to get a little bit further each day.  
At lunchtime we con(vinc)ed Wifey in to taking us up north to twitch the Pallas's Warbler  that can be seen from RBA CB's back garden - cheers bud! To ease the pain for Wifey we stopped off at the excellent pie shop in the villager first - praying it wouldn't leave or be chomped by a Sparrowhawk as we chomped our very tasty pies. A practice shot of a moving target was taken just in case we need a flight shot of the little warbler.
We were dropped off and Frank was taken for a walk. We waited with about a dozen others with no joy but it was still somewhere in the tree as it had been seen about half an our earlier. Then a nightmare happened a male Sparrowhawk turned up and sat on a nearby branch before darting in to THE tree. CB was on hand to nip in to the garden and flushed the scary beast which left with empty talons - the relief in the garden was palpable! But experienced watchers now thought it would be at least half an hour before it dared venture out and we weren't at all sure we'd be allowed that much time. As it was we were and we didn't need it all as the Pallas's Warbler (272, 186) showed three times, hardly good or prolonged views and no chance of getting anything like this pic we nicked from JS that he took earlier in the week - hope he doesn't mind! What a bird though - aren't they just little corkers!!! How on earth does something so tiny get to the furthest reaches of west Lancashire from the deepest depths of inner Siberia?
The drive back to Base Camp saw us take a wrong turn, or miss the right turn and that gave us the weirdest sighting of the day..wot-ja reckon to this?

Another nip out with Frank had us listening to a Chiffchaff in the back gardens of the houses on the opposite side of the street - is this the same one that we heard a week or so ago and if so will it overwinter?
Not a bad day at all.
Where to next? Big family business tomorrow ehh-upp muvver has reached a milestone birthday and we we'll be out of town. we'll be in an area we don't know at all well and there may be something to report.
In the meantime let us know what's wearing the stripes in your outback.


Captain Shagrat said...

Glad Frankie babe is on the mend. What a handsome horse, gave you a little smile for the camera too

Blackpool Nature said...

Hi Dave !

Alright - I know I berated you for not bringing any mammal pics back from Oz - or the Roo I asked for - but putting a fake zebra on the blog is going a bit far !
Can you put the skink pic on so I can enjoy it properly.

Love to Frank



cliff said...

Ha, I've got a picture of that zebra in the archives somewhere, it's looking a bit past its best thesedays, the horse is a bobby dazzler though in the early morning sunshine.