Trip reports

Walk in the Silverdale area

Calling redshank in meadow

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The rain stopped as I walked from the house to the meeting point at Woodwell. Perhaps the rain deterred some from coming, though it was the fresh North-westerly wind which was to make an impact on the day. Passerines kept down with the strength of the wind, while its direction blocked any influx of seabirds which could have accompanied the incoming tide.

Setting off from a somewhat quiet Woodwell, after enjoying a close-up view of nuthatch above our heads, we wended our way past marsh tits and mistle thrushes on the back route to Heald Brow. Here the field of meadow ant hills interested everyone, but the green woodpecker was feeding in one of the fields above the salt marsh. Fortunately he remained oblivious to us as we watched from above. 2 chiffchaffs called from the trees on the sheltered slope, one flying close in front of the party to land in the hawthorn beside us. Distant scoping of the Eric Morecambe Pool allowed some duck and avocets to be identified. Down at the salt marsh there were no signs of migration. Promised wheatears were remarkable by their absence (3 the day before, 7 the day after!).

Our arrival at Jenny Brown's Point was only 1.5 hours before the predicted 10 metre tide, and the waders were already well in towards the salt marsh. Below the cattle grid curlews, oystercatchers, and redshanks were accompanied by 2 knots, and 4 bar-tailed godwits. Again we had a good vantage point for some close-up views. At the breakwater it was a day for standing behind the wall to seawatch. Scoping during our lunch stop was to produce only half a dozen great-crested grebes, and some eider.; however, a party of 7 flying close in had everyone watching.

A return to the high tide wader roost did not produce any new species of wader, but a sparrowhawk standing on the ground close to a large group of oystercatchers. There was surprise at their tolerance of the predator, but as soon as it took flight the oystercatchers were up.

The return to Woodwell was via Jack Scout. The turnout of 6 + leader was light, the walk was delightful, the company good. In truth, the conditions determined what would have been a short birdlist for the venue - had anyone kept one.

John Webb