Happy as a pig in muck

The wintering male Snow Bunting was in his element down at Crosby beach today as rangers carried on clearing the tonnes of debris dumped by Storm Eleanor – she didn’t half leave a mess!
Luckily for the Snow Bunt, this means large piles of tidal rubbish are being moved by the team with tractors, so revealing loads of seeds for it to scoff, and it happily scurried about often just a few feet from the tractor as the clean-up continued.

Once it got into a good pile of debris, the Snow Bunting could be quite hard to pick out, blending in perfectly with the seaweed, timber and depressing sea of plastics, but as ever, if you sat still the bird came very close.
It reminded me of one of those poor souls eking a living from the mega-tips of Kenya or Sierra Leone, except the bunting is probably considerably happier.

The bunting was with the Skylark flock for most of the time I was there as usual, with several of the 24 larks bearing colour rings from Ian Wolfenden’s monitoring project.
I shudda spent more time getting the colour ring data, but the light was awful this morning, making it hard to discern the ring colours, and anyway, who can resist a showy Snow Bunt?

4 thoughts on “Happy as a pig in muck

  1. One of the largest single flocks of Pinkfeet I have ever seen (in nearly 50 years) was on Altcar Moss this afternoon. I eventually settled on about 8000 but it could have been 10,000; a remarkable sight and sound. They were feeding on harvested potato fields. Being careful to avoid disturbance, I could view only a fraction of the flock but after about half an hour a 4-wheel-drive came along and flushed the lot. They settled only a few fields away, also on potato, and I got further excellent views from the car through a gap in a hedge. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t find any other species – muddy legs didn’t help. Hundreds of the geese walked to within 50m of me, tucking into rotting spuds and making a constant low murmur, interspersed with the usual high-pitched “wink-wink”. Superb!

    Liked by 1 person

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