Saturday, 9 April 2011
Comings and Goings
The weather has improved dramatically this week.It is more like summer as I write this with clear blue skies and very warm. I have therefore managed a couple of trips this week and returned with some images from a busy coast and countryside. My first trip was to the Lancashire Coast at Rossall Point to observe the waders over a high tide. The usual sanderlings were present and will soon be departing for breeding grounds in Northern Europe. One or two dunlin were with them and I have shown above the sanderlings warming up for their long flight and a dunlin coming into it's lovely breeding plumage. The highlight of my visit to Rossall was super close up views of a wheatear newly arrived from it's wintering quarters in Africa. On the way home I had a look in the Cockerham area and I was delighted to watch brown hares cavorting in the fields and some of them were leaping for joy as they enjoyed the fine weather.
My second trip of the week was to the Bowland area hoping for sightings of hen harriers but I was unlucky.I was pleased however to see a pair of stonechats on territory. Stonechats have not done well recently in Bowland and have also suffered with the severe Winter we experienced so it was nice to see this pair at home on the fells. I briefly had sightings of a group of the Greenland race of wheatears but the images I took were poor and when I returned later in the day they had moved on. The fells generally were quiet and only a handful of curlews and lapwings were on territory and I only had very brief sightings of red grouse.It is possibly just a touch to early yet for the high fells but I will return soon to this magnificent part of Lancashire. A small selection of images from the week are shown above with sanderling ,brown hares,stonechats and the splendid close up wheatear to round of a splendid week at this lovely time of the year.