Foggy, Damp, Cool … later too much sunshine!?!
A conundrum to start off Team Tuesdays Birdwatching year….was the Sun sulking because the autumn Equinox was but a couple of days away, OR was the Fog in a little too much haste to bring on the next season?
TT will never know for whatever the weather Chat Moss and a welcome cuppa at the fisheries to start the day ensured that those who were not too busy being retired/on holiday in retirement etc. found that the journey through the tail end of the rush hour was worth making…especially as a couple of the Team managed to note a Swallow as soon as they arrived—a sighting soon be of rarity value as these birds retire to their wintering grounds in South Africa.
Cuppa and a brief catch-up on summertime activities then occupied the next twenty minutes or so….and would have with ease taken up the rest of the morn but the birds were somewhere out there in the Fog, and they siren-like drew us onto the misty waves of another Chat Moss wander. Pied Wagtail, Tufted Duck and Grey Heron were seen with relative ease whilst Chiffchaff, Robin and Goldfinch made themselves heard in the now slowly clearing air. A move out to check a couple of Horse Paddocks then led us onto a wave of titmice with Long-Tailed Tit dominant. Then across the now un-shrouded field Pied Wagtail and Starling were seen…yes things were looking up for our list keeper as more birds headed for him to scribe.
We then headed up Cutnook Lane to gain views of Croxden Peat which was notably looking a lot better with vegetation and pools slowly eradicating the years that this site had suffered from Peat extraction and as if to prove the worth of this re-colonisation by nature a Greenshank popped up for all to admire before its brief stopover was ended as it moves restlessly south for the winter. Teal, Mallard and Black-Headed Gull occupied the bunded pooled area, views of which proved quite difficult as the birches and willows have now started to provide cover for this oasis for wildfowl—nice for them but challenging viewing for us! A few splashes of colour then crept into our now brightening day as we noted the gold of yet to be harvested Barley, the citrine of a posing Yellowhammer and the red-black and white of a male Bullfinch (this latter bird forming part of a family party as they moved about the area). Then as we noted a Buzzard tucking into a prey item a decision had to be made—retreat back to lunch or pinch a little more time out of our day and push for a few minutes viewing Little Woolden Moss Nature reserve.
Lunch called to some and further leg stretching west called to the rest and twenty minutes later the reward for the former group was a leisurely lunch and for the latter a sentinel male Stonechat that would insist on giving all ‘top of small’ tree poses…a delight! Then more scanning of the wide open spaces of this beautiful reserve (one emerging with love from peat extraction by the efforts of Lancashire Wildlife Trust and its Volunteers) gave seven Ringed Plover as they refuelled on their own migratory move south.
Black Darter, Common Darter and Southern Hawker dragonflies added a little more interest to our day as did fleeting views of Comma and Red Admiral Butterflies, but now was the time for retreat which we did in the usual leisurely chatty way that comes with ease to the Team Tuesday family.
Progress I admit was not quite without its pauses for more bird life came to our attention resulting in the addition of Mute Swan and House Martin to our now healthy looking day-list before we arrived back at the fisheries car-park. (DS)
Bird List (CG)
- Canada Goose
- Tufted Duck
- Stock Dove
- Black-headed Gull
- Long-tailed tit
- Coot Moorhen
- Blue tit
- Pied Wagtail
- Meadow Pipet
- Carrion Crow
- Reed Bunting
- Ringed Plover
- Mute Swan
- House Martin