Chat Moss and Little Wolden Moss 10.05.16

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)

  1. Grey Heron
  2. Mute Swan
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Mallard
  5. Gadwall
  6. Teal
  7. Tufted Duck
  8. Buzzard
  9. Kestrel
  10. Peregrine
  11. Pheasant
  12. Moorhen
  13. Coot
  14. Oystercatcher
  15. Lapwing
  16. Black-tailed Godwit
  17. Whimbrel
  18. Curlew
  19. Common Sandpiper
  20. Black-headed Gull
  21. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  22. Common Tern
  23. Feral Pigeon
  24. Woodpigeon
  25. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  26. Skylark
  27. Sand Martin
  28. House Martin
  29. Swallow
  30. Meadow Pipit
  31. Yellow Wagtail
  32. Pied Wagtail
  33. Blackbird
  34. Song Thrush
  35. Whitethroat
  36. Blackcap
  37. Chiffchaff
  38. Willow Warbler
  39. Robin
  40. Blue Tit
  41. Jay
  42. Magpie
  43. Carrion Crow
  44. House Sparrow
  45. Chaffinch
  46. Goldfinch
  47. Yellowhammer
  48. 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!


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