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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Out and about...

Newton Marsh has not produced a great deal recently other than the usual suspects, Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and two Mute Swans, a couple of Curlew and singing skylarks and the exception, an old friend from December, a Merlin. The water appears to be too deep for the waders or indeed the dabbling ducks and I am not convinved the additional man-made features as enhancement has actually helped, it seems to be holding too much water and not draining properly; perhaps in time the 'improvements' will show benefits. There is certainly a lot more traffic to the Waste Disposal Site and contractors to United Utilities Site appear to be creating a disturbance forcing the birds deeper towards Freckleton and away from the east end. Perhaps as the days grow longer, earlier and later visits may produce something 'interesting'.  This fleeting glance of a Merlin, on a grey day was short lived as it was disturbed by a passing wagon. On one visit it appeared to be 'bath day' as about twenty wigeon were busy calling to each other while all taking a bath, splashing and preening.

Male Wigeon
Male Wigeon
Female Wigeon
Female Wigeon
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker – tree hugging
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker
Pied Wagtail (female)
Siskin (female and male)
Siskin (male)
It always surprises me how Great Spotted Woodpeckers know where you are and always disappear around the other side of the tree – not quite this time! The tendons in their feet must be amazingly strong the way the grip the bark – unlike my arthritic hands – make you wonder if they suffer the same in time. A couple of 'common birds', those we so frequently overlook – fewer Starlings have been visiting the garden recently but a pair of Pied Wagtails have been regular visitors, especially during the colder and harder weather. I was surpsrised to see these Siskin, a first for me, and outwitting Jays to get a photo is a major pre-occupation taking a great deal of patience, time and suitable weather conditions.

1 comment:

Brian Rafferty said...

Geoff. A very nice collection of birds here. Well captured ...jays are never easy and that's a jolly good shot of the Newton Marsh merlin. It is a pity about all the traffic disturbance there but it seems wherever you wander these days it is very rarely peaceful and quiet.Hope to bump into you again soon. Take care.