Before the rain


Good scope views of two young Arctic Skuas out around the low tideline at Ainsdale for most of the morning; the birds spent a fair amount of time on the deck, preening and resting before forays after the Sandwich and Common Terns.
Always nice to be able to show people skuas on one of our guided walks (even if the attendance was small but particularly select eh David?).
Wheatears around the office early on.
Still a few Swifts moving through, but nothing like the wave yesterday afternoon.
Offshore Gannets feeding and the summer scoter flock was keeping a respectful distance.
A shady-looking crew from the dark side were enjoying the Caspian Gull, which was being particularly lazy this morning, too full of bread to stand up I expect.



9 thoughts on “Before the rain

  1. If I’d known that was a guided walk you were on this morning John, I’d have left the dog at home! Still it’s not often that you get to see an unusual bird like the CG whilst enjoying a bacon butty and a coffee. Where should I be watching to anticipate future guided walks?


    • Tony, if you send me an email to I’ll send you a return email with a PDF version of my Events Programme for the rest of the year on Monday.
      Also keep an eye on for short notice events and all round splendid coast stuff etc. Good to see you again today…the bacon butty looked stonking.


  2. The summer holidays may nearly be at an end, but the fun isn’t over at RSPB Leighton Moss as everyone is invited to go batty at a special event on Saturday 29 August.
    From 7-9.15 pm, families can join a bat night event at the Silverdale reserve to discover more about these unusual night-time creatures.
    Annabel Rushton, Visitor Experience Manager at Leighton Moss, said: “This event is part of International Bat Night, which is celebrated around the world, so it’s the perfect time to go batty! We’re excited to be joined by local bat expert Gail Armstrong, who will give an introduction to bats, before we walk out onto the nature reserve to try and find some of these incredible creatures using bat detectors”.
    Leighton Moss is currently home to over 400 soprano pipistrelle bats, which choose the warm walls of the reserve’s woodchip boiler room as an ideal place to raise their young and sleep during the day. They then come out during the evening to hunt for insects around the woodland and reedbeds which make Leighton Moss such an important home for wildlife.
    To book a place on the bat night event, please call the Leighton Moss visitor centre on 01524 701601.
    For more information on this and other events taking place at the reserve, visit for details or call into the visitor centre.


  3. Marshside/Crossens 1100-1450
    Juvenile Little Ringed Plover at Fairclough’s Pool the only small wader anywhere, but a flock of 80+ Golden Plovers arriving high from the NE my first of the autumn. Heavy passage of Swallows south over the Estuary from the Fylde: c.600 in 1.5 hours; single Wheatear, Willow Warbler and Grey Wagtail the only other passerine migrants. Perhaps the most interesting feature a female/imm. Merlin joining up to 8 Kestrels feeding on a swarm of black, clumsy, honeybee-sized flying insects over the Sea Asters; anyone out there able to hazard a guess as to the species?


  4. Amazing record of a dead Great Crested Grebe @ Dutch Farm Speke! More amazing as we don’t even have a lake, i found it lying on the grass next to a raised bed. It had no sign of any injury’s.Going for a lie down now!


  5. Burton Wetlands – Saturday 22nd

    4 x Greenshank
    1 x Little Stint
    9 x Snipe
    1 x Water Rail
    1 x Spotted Flycatcher
    3 x Goldcrest
    4 x Whitethroat
    1 x Garden Warbler
    1 x Blackcap
    1 x Chiffchaff


  6. Productive jaunt around south Ribble Estuary sites with El Troppo this morning. 2 juv Little Ringed Plovers at Marshside’s Fairclough’s Pool early on, juv Knot and Common Sandpiper from Sandgrounder Hide, slight trickle of House Martins and Meadow Pipits, Merlin and 7+ Kestrels bug-hunting over the saltmarsh. Great White Egret out on Banks Marsh from Old Hollows Farm; Hobby dodging aggressive Swallows over Hundred End. At Hesketh Out Marsh no migrant waders but two Marsh Harriers, a subadult male and an adult female that looked as if it had had a run-in with an anti-aircraft gun; could still soar elegantly, though.


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