SPRING MIGRATION IS COMING TO AN END, with all but the highest Arctic breeding birds already gone through. In fact it will not be long before the return passage starts, usually with Common Scoter and Green Sandpiper leading the way. I thought the rain would ground something this morning and unfortunately I made the wrong choice in trudging around Alston instead of going to Stocks, where I would have seen a Sanderling. Ah well. Breeding birds are well established now and a pair of reed buntings and Sedge Warblers were in the small marsh by No. 1 and a chiffchaff was still belting out its song there too. The LRPs are still on the wetland but there were no passage shorebirds today… yet. Stocks was also quiet and there was nothing ahead for the heavy rain, which hit around 1100. There are at least three pairs of Great Crested Grebes this year and four Red-breasted Mergansers were still around. The pair of Great Black-backed Gulls had a large exclusion zone around them on the island as usual and a couple of Common Sandpipers, a redshank and a drumming snipe from the walled garden were the only shorebirds seen. Garden Warblers seem to be present in good numbers this year with at least four heard between the causeway and old hide. Well that's it for today then. Hopefully there is still time for something interesting before the ELOC area goes to sleep again for the summer. It's a great time of year for an overshoot.
Viewing entries tagged
A BREEDING PLUMAGED RED KNOT AT STOCKS RES. WAS YESTERDAY'S HIGHLIGHT as the passage of high Arctic breeding waterbirds through East Lancs continues. The five Black Terns were still present along with three (much hoped-for) Arctic Terns, the latter part of a big eastward movement along the Ribble Valley today. A Dunlin and a whimbrel were also at Stocks this evening and up to three woodcocks were riding at dusk over the causeway. My little year continues but although I am closing the gap on the leading pack I will never catch the Breaks gang. One of them will win but the question is which one with Mark away so much at the moment.
ELOC year list 135. Red Knot 136. Arctic Tern
ALSTON WETLAND'S SECOND EVER LITTLE STINT WAS YESTERDAY'S HIGHLIGHT. Until now the reserve had hosted the same number of Killdeers as Little Stints! Stocks Reservoir was also great in the morning and evening with four Ruddy Turnstones on the island there as well as now five lovely Black Terns hawking near the buoys at the mouth of the Hodder inlet. The turnstones flew off high to the northeast at 2015 and I left soon afterwards, only arriving at Alston after 2100 where the stint was happily still on view until at lest 2125 amongst 7 whimbrels and a few curlews. It was still present next morning and also at Alston there were at least 4 Common Ringed Plovers and a Dunlin. A Kingfisher here was also new for the year and the Common Cuckoos were much in evidence, calling loudly again. A couple of pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers and at least 16 Common Redshank were also of note but alas there was no sign of the reported Baird's Sandpiper of the previous evening. A couple of Sedge Warblers were singing at Alston No. 1 reservoir this morning, keeping my smallest year list vaguely in touch with the rest of the ELOC little year listers.
ELOC year list 131. Ruddy Turnstone 132. Common Kingfisher 133. Little Stint 134. Sedge Warbler