I wondered why it was taking so long to catch the single Wheatear along the sea wall at Pilling today as they usually go for a meal worm pretty quickly. When I eventually took the bird from the trap it proved to be wearing number L733748, an adult female “Greenland” caught here on 18th August exactly two weeks ago. Once bitten twice shy is the relevant idiom I think.
Wheatear - adult female
So much for the theory that Wheatears migrate through here quickly; they certainly do in Springtime but less so in Autumn, especially if they are in post-breeding moult like this one was on 18th August. The moult appeared complete today, her weight up from 24.1gms to 28.7gms leaving her in good condition to set off to Africa very soon.
Wheatear - L733748 adult female 1st September 2014
Wheatear - L733248 adult female 18th August 2014
There wasn’t too much doing along the sea wall except for a noticeable influx of wildfowl to the shooters’ land with 270 Teal and 34 Pintail flying in from the marsh to the pools where feed is being put out and water pumped in from Pilling Water.
Less wild were the first releases of Red-legged Partridge and “Mallards” in preparation for the cming shooting season with several hundred of each species in the area. Below is a photograph of the Mallards - gun fodder in a week or two providing that the beaters can persuade the ducks to fly after their pampered existence in large cages where they learned how not to find food in the wild.
Two Green Sandpipers and 2 Grey Herons spooked from the ditches and on the marsh 13 Little Egrets, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Buzzard and 4 Meadow Pipits. Blimey! - It must be September if Meadow Pipits are beginning to appear.
More birds, news and views soon on Another Bird Blog.