Overcast and poor light, with rain at the end
Having seen the start of a bird’s life-cycle a couple of weeks ago at Marshside, today were witnesses to its end as a determined female Peregrine dramatically plucked an unlucky Common Sandpiper from the shallow pools on Little Wolden Moss right before our eyes. However, this was just one moment of what, as Dave suggests in his lyrical account of our morning’s wanderings (4 miles, at a guess), was a truly memorable morning. Thanks as ever to Dave, and to Barbara and John for the list and the photos, respectively. (Ed.)
There are times (happily not so very few)
When with friends superlatives just won’t do:
This day was one such with Tuesday Crew,
When birds divine came sweetly to view.
The meet it started in ‘our’ cafe sublime,
Which Yvonne and Henry run so fine.
Brews and snacks set day off right,
Giving all an impetus to watch birds in flight.
A restlessness that Spring enhances,
Then moved attention to outside glances;
Thus open air was sought quite soon,
As Swallow awaited to make heart swoon.
The de-brief done, feet restlessly did tap
To explore the Fisheries’ myriad habitat;
Pools primarily set for fishing just right
Had been carefully designed for natural delight.
House and Sand Martin flicked about sky
As Pools and Fishermen we passed by;
Tufted Duck dived in water set quite deep
Over which a Mute Swan did serenely sweep.
This Oasis of nature in harmony with man
Then released us to follow our day’s easy plan;
Thus soon we paused at woodland quite near,
Willow Warbler, Song Thrush and Wren to hear.
Croxden Peat pools then gave two Common Tern,
Top ranking on our list did these beauties earn!
Yet soon when eyes so keen looked to the sky,
Ten Black Tailed Godwit for first place did vie.
At this point Day seemed as if so complete,
Yet there were still many a step left for our feet,
And ever westward we pushed without delay,
Whilst Whitethroat and Meadow Pipit came our way.
Next Lapwing with young hidden from sight,
Soon gave way to double Citrine delight,
For nicely in view, though quite distantly seen,
Were two Yellow Wagtail now turned Day Supreme.
Next, eyes were asked to perform a difficult task,
As we peered into stubble where a Curlew stood fast.
Ears also noted Blackcap rich song full of good cheer,
It seemed to be saying there’s yet more – no fear.
A Yellowhammer then uttered its dear ‘Cheesy’ song,
And all the while time flew as we pushed along.
A delay watching potatoes being planted with ease
Was soon overcome, when a Whimbrel did please.
Then last stop was made on Little Woolden Moss,
To see life’s balance on a single coin’s Toss,
As Peregrine in need of its next feathered meal,
Without rod a Common Sandpiper from water did Reel
Thus ended our sojourn on Mossland in Spring,
In which we had noted many a splendid thing,
A traipse in the rain was soon swept aside,
As we feasted on food that ‘our’ cafe did provide. (Dave Steel)
Bird List (BP)
- Grey Heron
- Mute Swan
- Canada Goose
- Tufted Duck
- Black-tailed Godwit
- Common Sandpiper
- Black-headed Gull
- Lesser Black-backed Gull
- Common Tern
- Feral Pigeon
- Great Spotted Woodpecker
- Sand Martin
- House Martin
- Meadow Pipit
- Yellow Wagtail
- Pied Wagtail
- Song Thrush
- Willow Warbler
- Blue Tit
- Carrion Crow
- House Sparrow
- Reed Bunting
A selection of John’s photos, plus a photo of an Edward VIII postbox, spotted by Roger and me in Cadishead en route to the birding rendezvous – like Peregrines, there aren’t many of them about!