Couldn’t resist a ramble through the dunes at Ainsdale at lunchtime today – bright sun and an oddly comforting buffety north easterly meant plenty of Mipits had been moving through the morning, with smaller numbers of alba wags – all bounding north.
The dunes were looking good too, after a winter of Red Poll coo and Herdwick Sheep grazing, with Tree Bumblebee taking advantage of the first blooming Creeping Willow and stacks of Mipits moving.
Stonechats were singing and at least three of the local Common Buzzards were up and circling with two Kestrels in their wake.
A warm sheltered bank out of the wind was a fine place to try to estimate the number of Mipits passing – I lay back and closed my eyes for a minute and counted the “bleeps” that passed through my consciousness.
25 in the first minute, 13 the next, then Zzzzzz…
Nodding off is clearly not a good technique to gather data, so I decided not to try to guage the albas the same way.
It ain’t the best method of hunting for a hoped for Ring Ouzel either, so I stirred and as I sat up saw a male Wheatear looking down its beak at me from a short distance away.
The bird fed in the sun for ten minutes or so before moving on.
No sign of any Rouzels yet, but it’s early days…