Right now birding opportunities are limited with work, visits to recycling centres and clearing the house ready to sell. Apart from all that the camera's decided it's time to pack in so any advice on the latest models for digiscoping use will be gratefully received. It did at least have the decency to die on me here; good timing with a Brazil tour on the horizon I suppose.
The arrival of Pink-footed Geese in north west England heralds the beginning of autumn for me. A couple of visits this week to the South Ribble Marshes in late summer weather (in contrast to the blustery "early autumn weather" of the past week) failed to produce any geese, although birds have been seen at nearby Martin Mere WWT and Marshside. Not that the absence of grey geese meant that the excursions were uneventful though, far from it in fact. Marsh Harriers, Sparrowhawk and Merlin continue to frequent the marshes, with one of the harriers scattering at least 282 Teal and the first Wigeon of the season. Little Egrets reached the dizzy heights of a dozen birds on 9th September at high tide and yesterday included a ringed bird although details were difficult to observe (yellow right leg, possibly creamy coloured on left with "A" on it). Waders have not been prolific apart from impressive numbers of Lapwing (520 11th), but included 35 Ringed Plover (9th), 7 Snipe (9th), 27 Curlew (11th), 8 Black-tailed Godwits (11th), 11 Redshank (11th) and 5 Greenshank (9th) and single Golden Plovers. Dunlin have been pretty scarce away from the estuary but a brief visit of 20 birds carried a brace each of Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers (all juveniles) on 9th. A Spotted Redshank heard was the only other noteworthy wader. Yellow Wagtails continue their impressive record south of the river with single birds seen on both recent visits but otherwise scarce passerines remain just that ....... scarce.
It's a pleasure to see the back of our garage after eight years and rumour has it you can even get a car in it!