Could watch these things all day long – despite the cold wind, the sun meant sheltered corners of the dune landscape at Ainsdale were still worth checking today – especially as Chris Tynan had seen a Cuckoo south of Shore Road in the morning (see comment on the previous blog entry).
I headed south from the office at lunchtime, past reeling Groppers (two within earshot of Ainsdale Discovery Centre still) and at least seven singing Whitethroats.
Despite the strong north westerly one even tried a display flight…very well played old chap.
A male Whinchat was the cat’s pyjamas though – I love these things (who doesn’t?). One of two today, it did the decent thing and stayed put long enough for me digiscope as the branches swayed drunkenly around it.
“Not many birds better than a male Whinchat”, I mused as I lifted my bins to a movement at the bottom of a stunted hawthorn and was confronted by a stonking male Redstart!
Very happy indeed.
Big smiley face, as a local pair of Buzzards circled overhead and the gull colony on the NNR rose squawking in the breeze.
Credit really must go to the best Herdwick Sheep this side of Wasdale Head and the groovy Red Poll coos that have been grazing the dunes this winter – the habitat just looks brilliant this year thanks to them, and the spring migrants seem to like it too.
Back at the office I had to lead a brief Petalwort hunt in the pm, and in spite of it being a bit late in the season, managed to find one rather manky specimen at a regular site.
I include an image of it, only because I know how much Mr “Papa Goose” (ask him) Hunt loves ’em…
What a beauty!
Spring Pea, Early Forget Me Not, Heath Dog Violet and Mouse Ear all flowering too, with Speckled Woods out around Sands Lake, Willow Warblers, Chiffies, Blackcaps etc.