East and West

Yesterday morning before it got light I loaded my car up with my ringing gear, tied my poles on to the roof rack and headed to the pools at the Obs. I was looking forward to a few hours ringing and the forecast had been spot on all week for Sunday morning, even before I went to bed just before midnight.

Looking north I could see black clouds looming, and what's this, rain on my windscreen! The wind turbine was also spinning round at more of a rate than it should given the forecast. I parked up before unlocking the three gates to get access to the ringing area and checked the forecast again, not that I needed to as I could see, feel and hear that the weather had changed! And sure enough the wind strength was due to increase as the morning went on, so I made the decision to abort and headed home to drop my poles off before checking a few coastal migrant spots.

Unfortunately it had been a clear out kind of night and it was a vis kind of morning, and if I had managed to get some nets up anything I caught would have been down to the MP3 players. First port of call was the Cemetery; no grounded migrants bet definitely some vis. My second and final port of call was the coastal park, and again more vis. I'll lump my vis totals together for both the cemetery and the coastal park as they are close to each other.

 Looking across Morecambe Bay from the coastal park

The highlight of the vis were three Jays (scarce here) that headed west and a Great Spotted Woodpecker that dropped in to the trees before heading west. The vis was both east and west this morning; west because that's the usual autumnal direction on this stretch of coast, and east because some birds were obviously heading in to wind.

My vis totals, whether it was east or west, were ten Chaffinches, 22 Greenfinches, a Rook, a Meadow Pipit, an Alba Wag, 184 Pink-footed Geese, four Magpies, twelve Goldfinches, three Jays, six Mistle Thrushes, twenty Carrion Crows, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Swallow, a Grey Wagtail and a Siskin.

 Pink-footed Geese

The only grounded migrants were two Goldcrests and a Song Thrush. An immature male Sparrowhawk was nice to see, as always, and that was about it.

It's survey work this week for me in southwest Lancs and Cheshire, and hopefully on Saturday some birding in southwest Scotland, although the weather is looking a bit grim fro Friday/Saturday! Hopefully it will change!