You can’t see them – but they can’t see you either.

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Dense fog and drizzly grim are never the best conditions for birding, but I had a spare hour today and decided I’d give it a crack anyway.
Marshside was a great big grey duvet, with occasional Wigeon, and things weren’t much better as I headed through Banks.
Caught up with the wild swan flock opposite Old Manor Farm (just before the Hesketh Out Marsh turn-off), although it was not easy to go through them in the fog.
Time for a game of Birding Battleships…
“You sunk my Bewick’s Swan!”

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There were about 80 Whoopers in total – or 80 white waddling blobs with long necks when the fog rolled back in anyway, and with them at least two small groups of Bewick’s Swans (smaller blobs with shorter necks in the mist), which was what I was after.
Managed a few misty snaps in a brief moment of brightness before the murk enveloped the herd again.
A good flock of Fieldfares on the HoM approach track and back at Dempsey Towers, a male Blackcap scoffing fat and apples like there was no tomorrow…

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2 thoughts on “You can’t see them – but they can’t see you either.

  1. Following up a message from Dave Hardaker, I searched a flock of about 2000 Pinkfeet at Hillhouse, east of Great Altcar yesterday afternoon.
    There was a single adult Tundra Bean with them but a family of four that Dave saw there recently was missing. Should be around somewhere.

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  2. Tens of thousands of schoolchildren across the UK will be swapping books for binoculars this term to take part in the UK’s biggest schools wildlife survey.
    The RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2017 takes place during the first half of the spring term and helps children discover the wonderful wildlife they share their school grounds with, whilst providing a helpful insight into which species are thriving or declining.
    According to research conducted by the RSPB, one in five children are disconnected from nature. Big Schools’ Birdwatch aims to inspire children to care about the natural world around them in the hope they’ll want to help protect it for future generations.
    Last year almost 100,000 pupils and teachers from schools all across the UK took part by counting the birds that visited their school grounds, and it is hoped even more will take part this year.
    Over the years, more than 70 different species have been recorded in school grounds, ranging from starlings and house sparrows, to red kites and green woodpeckers. The blackbird remained the most common playground visitor in 2016 whilst starlings held onto the second spot. And for the first time wood pigeons made the top three, jumping up the list from sixth position the year before.
    Since its launch in 2002, the Big Schools’ Birdwatch has provided opportunities for children and teachers to learn about how to give nature a home in their school grounds. Many schools prepare for the event in advance by putting up feeders and nestboxes and making bird cake. Seeing and counting the birds coming to their feeders during the Big Schools Birdwatch is the perfect reward for their efforts.
    The Big Schools’ Birdwatch is the school version of the Big Garden Birdwatch – the world’s biggest garden wildlife survey aimed at families and individuals. The event will take place over three days on 28, 29 and 30 January 2017 and further information can be found on the RSPB website rspb.org.uk/birdwatch
    To register to take part in the 2017 RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch, visit rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch. Everything schools need to take part is available to download from the RSPB website.

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