Thursday, 30 September 2010

Another trip to Lancs

I went over to Lancashire again yesterday (and today) and was met by horrendous weather, poor visibility and driving rain, luckily I was able to make the most of the land rover so kept fairly dry during the worst of the weather, lots of Pink-footed Geese and large gulls (mainly Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls) were more-or-less the only birds noted - visibility was appalling. Once the weather improved and I could actually see and hear the birds activity went through-the-roof with raptors, waders, wildfowl and passerines all on the move. Large numbers of Pink-footed Geese and Snipe were recorded with a fair amount of Skylark, Swallow and Meadow Pipit passage. A nocturnal survey produced very little (Mallard, Snipe and Lapwing), however it was interesting listening to at least 6 different Tawny Owls calling from different plantations on my side of the site - with at least 3 or 4 on the other side of the site too.

This morning my survey was incredibly busy, no sooner had I got out of the car I was aware of a Peregrine gently drifting over me, it didn't really look like it was hunting, maybe just assessing the area... an hour or so later presumably the same Peregrine (a juvenile female) came powering right past me, 10ft off the ground about 20m away! I watched it as it went low across the ground - certainly hunting this time - before I lost it as it went down over a hedge. A cloud of corvids and Wood Pigeon exploded, but I didn't see the kill (if there was one), however I didn't see the bird again during the day.

A juvenile Marsh Harrier was noted quartering the stubble field, putting up clouds of Linnet and Skylark, but constantly mobbed by various corvids. Visible migration was noted early doors with the following noted: Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 'Alba' Wagtail, Chaffinch, Corn Bunting, Linnet, Goldfinch, Siskin, Redpoll, Swallow, 4 Coal Tit and a singles of Redwing and Mistle Thrush.

Plenty of Pink-footed and Greylag Geese were observed - in ever increasing numbers (a very small percentage of Pink-footed Geese shown in the photo from my phone below - along with the setting moon).

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