Monday, 25 April 2011

Around the moss!

Short-toed Lark. Fylde Bird Club

I almost went to see this bird - Lancashires first - today, present at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park, in the end I'm proud to say I gave in to my selfish ways by making a compromise with KT to do a wander around Leighton Moss where nothing unexpected was seen but notables included good views of five Marsh Harriers, at least 3 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, a pair of Bullfinch, good views of the sub-adult Mediterranean Gull from Lillians Hide, and 5 Brimstone on the round.

The good thing about Leighton Moss is, that if - whilst keeping your eyes fully focused on the birds - you keep your ears fully focused on some of the things said in the hides you can learn quite a lot, most of which I'd categorise as 'rubbish'. However, I did learn a couple of interesting things on the rounds today whilst having to rely on what I heard to be fact, but first and foremost I must insist on announcing that I do not condone or subscribe to noisy chatter in hides, more to the point I oppose any unnecessary talk at all in hides. But according to what I heard in the first conversation, one of the Leighton Moss female Marsh Harriers carries an antenna - I assume - as an aid to some tracking device fitted to the bird....Mmmmm! Later in the day another conversation overheard claimed that the Warton Crag Peregrine Falcons have had their nest predated by Ravens which it appears resulted in all the eggs taken....Mmmmm! nature, though the result is the same I'd much sooner the Ravens than some moron down a rope to the nest.

Hopefully some more interesting birding to come!


Pete Marsh said...

You can tell there is nothing doing this morning - trawling websites at peak early morning migration time! I dont think hides at Leighton Moss could ever be expected to be "quiet" and there is precious little in immediate proximity which could be disturbed by conversation as opposed to waving arms through the window. Quiet a bit of the use involves escorted tours and that requires at least normal conversation level from the leader +/- discussion. I choose to stay away, but if I did visit I would accept conversation as a normal feature of public hides. The hides are a major learning forum for people finding out about birdwatching as, as such, discussion should be encouraged with the fieldcraft side of things more important on the paths between hides



David Cookson said...

Pete I tend to go to LM very early in the day, dawn at first light is a magical time. I normally go to the EM hide when there isn't a ripple on the pond, except for the wake of the waders and the kingfisher has entertained me for a couple of hours. Then the coach load turns up the squeaky door is opened and shut for every attendee and the crescendo of noise builds up. I am repeatedly asked "anything about", sadly the panorama is empty. A good hide is a quiet hide.

Pete Woodruff said...

Two good responses to this post and thanks to both PM/DC. Though I have to be honest I was hoping for some elaboration on both subjects mentioned in the post, especially the tracking tagged (?) Marsh Harrier, but equally interested in the Peregrine Falcon predation.

Pete Marsh said...

The former satellite-tagged Marsh Harrier has already been written up, Pete, it originated from the Tay reedbeds and when the transmitter was working it was tracked, from memory, to Africa. We could do with re-posting the bird as the same individual is obviously still around & breeding at Leighton. I'll sort it out for the Lancs county ringing report (it is, of course, metal-ringed as well)

Whilst appreciating that early morning in the hides can be a magical experience, I much prefer, at that time of the morning, being able to also hear the Tree Pipits, Yellow Wagtails and the myriad of vis mig birds heading overhead.......and for that you have to be outside to pick up the calls, and therefore be alerted to the birds!