Too big to eat.

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Bitterly cold out on the marsh this afternoon, but at least the cruel wind held off the hail, sleet and all manner of poop that had been lashing down in the morning.
A superb female Peregrine was sheltering on the leeward side of one of the large bits of timber on the outer marsh up Crossens way, occasionally eyeing the grazing Pink Feet that passed close by her.
While Peregrines have been recorded taking a surprising variety of prey, from GBBs to Long Eared Owls via Hawfinch and Cuckoo (Ratcliffe, 1980), I think a healthy Pink Foot, no matter how plump and tempting might be a bit too ambitious.
Two Merlins ripping up the outer marsh too, hurtling after Skylark and Snipe without success.
Crossens Outer had two Great White Egrets striding about before they moved further out onto the estuary, and beaucoup de Pinkies grazed close to the road.

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Now two Tree Sparrows at Dempsey Towers in Ainsdale – looking good.

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3 thoughts on “Too big to eat.

  1. Took a walk on the wild side this morning, to a very stormy Formby Point just before high tide. Even in the shelter of the life guards’ hut it was all but impossible to hold the bins still, so the HUUUUUUGE flock of “murmurating” waders (several thousand I’d guess) just south of the Point remained pretty much anonymous. I’m guessing Knot??? Anonymous or knot (sorry), it was a sight worth the sandblasting though the dog wasn’t impressed. There was little else to see, other than a lone Turnstone with a small group of roosting Redshank that were entertaining as they constantly shuffled about to avoid being on “point” in the wind; and the usual Sanderling fizzing about and flying sideways.

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  2. A nature conservation project in West Lancashire, aimed at increasing the number of lapwings, has enjoyed a record-breaking season.
    In 2010, the RSPB erected a 3km electric fence around Newton Marsh on the Fylde coast to help protect breeding lapwings from fox predation. Since then, the number of lapwings breeding at the site has steadily increased and this year, it enjoyed its most successful season ever with 55 pairs producing 49 fledged chicks.
    In addition to the fence, which was funded by Natural England, the RSPB employed a project officer, funded by Biffa Award, to warden the marsh and monitor the productivity of lapwings and other wading birds.
    This season, the project officer recorded 39 pairs of redshanks, fledging 29 chicks and the first successful breeding pair of black-tailed godwits at Newton Marsh since 2008.
    Changes in agriculture have contributed to numbers of the breeding Lapwings in England plummeting by 80 per cent since the 1960s. As a result, they are on the UK’s Red List of threatened species.
    Tony Baker, RSPB Ribble Reserves Site Manager, said: “Lapwings have declined massively in recent years so helping their numbers to recover is a major priority for the RSPB. Fortunately, our work appears to be paying off as the success at Newton Marsh this year has been replicated at many of our reserves around the country. However, a lot more work is needed if we want to see lapwings safely off the “red list”.
    Newton Marsh is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is owned by local farmers who manage the land by grazing sheep and cattle.

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