I recently saw - on Birds2blog - my Fridays birding with JB/BT described as 'The Friday Jaunt'. Looking up the true definition of 'jaunt' I discover its a....'short journey for pleasure'....So I accept that this is as good a description as any other of what I experience each and every Friday with the said two birding friends of mine. As always JB's records will be far more comprehensive than mine that follow and are HERE
Pink-footed Geese. Brian Rafferty
Another sign of the approaching winter was the sight of at least 2,000 Pink-footed Geese on Pilling Marsh this afternoon with which I found a single Barnacle Goose. The frustration of this welcome sight was that I saw at least three neck collars which were too distant to have any chance of reading. A Little Egret also seen here.
Barnacle Geese. Dave Appleton
But we had started about five hours earlier at Freeman's Pools where 6 Little Grebe were counted along with the exceptional number of 11 Grey Heron on the island all standing like hunched sentinels, a Greenshank was on Aldcliffe Marsh. Moving no further than the viewing platform at Conder Green I noted 'the' Common Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, and 5 Little Grebe.
On the Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock I thought the thing I should do first and foremost is to note the birds absent or in low number the most significant of which is the virtual total absence of Dunlin both here and at Cockersands, Curlew were no more than 40, the Redshank no more than 50. On the plus of note, at least 5,000 Lapwing, c.350 Golden Plover, and a Spotted Redshank.
Greenshank. Dave Appleton
At Cockersands where I walked the headland to meet BT/JB at the caravan park about twenty minutes later. No waders apparent which - given time - would have meant a search over Plover Scar to find any, I noted a Wheatear, a Little Egret, and a Sparrowhawk, with c.15 Greenfinch seen again as yesterday. A detour round Gulf Lane produced another Sparrowhawk 'gliding' at speed below a hedge.
So now we're back at the start of the post at Pilling Marsh to discover the aforementioned 'geese' and - unknown to JB and I - this was the termination point and we were on our way back to Lancaster....the 'short journey for pleasure' was over!