Thursday, September 22, 2011

Migration at the Moss

I went to Leighton Moss RSPB on the autumnal equinox to lead a walk on migration mysteries. As I arrived on the train I had already seen some little egrets on the Allen Pools as we sped past them. On my walk from the railway station a few greylag flew towards the reserve from across the golf course. I had my refreshing cup of tea before commencing and was pleasantly surprised to see David Hughes and his wife, colleagues from A Rocha UK. The walk proper started in Lilians hide where we had a great view of a juvenile marsh harrier and in the distance a little egret. A single great crested grebe was outnumbered by coot  close to the hide and several pochards. We also had two black tailed godwits doing a flypast.When the coots made a sudden dash for the reeds we suspected otters, but to no avail
The other leader Ken and I shared about ringing as a means of learning more information on migration. We moved on, only pausing to watch a jay looking for food. We did search for bearded tits near the grit trays but a sudden shower encouraged us to head for the public hide. I include a video from a previous year to show we do get them in this location very regularly.

 A mute swan gracefully sailed past with about four cygnets following. The pools did look very full which meant not much room on the small islands for waders to gather. There were a few though. Several greenshanks shared with cormorants and redshanks as they faced the strengthening wind with heads down. At this location we did see a few swallows and house martins heading south. The sun came out in time for us to head back to the centre passing a flock of long-tailed tits on the way. The feeding station was our final point of call with chaffinch, greenfinches, coal tits, nuthatch and marsh tits delighting us at the end of a good morning

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