Just birding this morning, beginning at Knott End where the time of year begins to dictate a few visits, particularly when early morning rising tides push waders and hopefully terns in from Morecambe Bay.
No terns this morning although Oystercatcher numbers are building with 220+ today as they leave inland breeding haunts to congregate on the sands and the mussel beds. It was mostly Oystercatchers today, with just a couple of Redshank, 35 Curlew and several Shelduck. From the jetty I counted 9 Eider and then a fly past from a visiting Peregrine again. It’s just a glide across the River Wyre to Fleetwood where the Peregrines have bred again this year, rearing one youngster. Alongside the golf course I could see 3 Pied Wagtails along the first fairway and in the nearby conifers a Whitethroat was busily feeding a fledged youngster.
I noted a couple of Swift and House Martins then motored on to Pilling. Lane Ends car park was quiet, just the 2 regular Blackcap and a newly singing Chiffchaff but no sounds from the patches of reeds where Reed Warblers have been noisily singing of late. On my travels yesterday I checked two nests, one of Whitethroat the other of Goldfinch and both of them had been washed out, two nests better placed to survive the lashing from wind and rain that a typical Reed Warbler nest must have endured this past week.
A walk to Pilling Water found 2 Common Sandpiper,105 Curlew, 30 Redshank, 14 Oystercatcher, 15 Goldfinch, 4 Linnet, 5 Greenfinch, 3 Swift, 8 Swallow, 3 Pied Wagtail, 16 Skylark and 4 Corn Bunting. The Corn Buntings are definitely making a breeding attempt here, confirmed as I watched a bird collect nest material from the sea wall and then accompanied by a second bird, drop with the material into the silage. I now think there may be two pairs in this field with others in similar silage fields towards Cockerham. As Corn Buntings are now so scarce in this area of Lancashire it’s good that they may be utilising this habitat, but more than a little risky if their timing coincides with silage cutting.
Down at Fluke I chatted with a HiFly guy who’s looking forward to the shooting season in 9 week’s time, if only the maize would grow and the silage become dry enough to cut. Its odd how according to our own particular interests we all take a different view of how things should turn out.! But over the recent controversy about Buzzards we agreed on one thing - Buzzards are too lazy to take game birds, they prefer to sit around and wait for a spot of road-kill or other carrion.
Tune into Another Bird Blog again on Sunday for more news and maybe a few views.