Mr Skulkypants.

Wonderful weather for a stroll through the dunes to admire Andy Spottiswood’s fine Dusky Warbler at Ainsdale today.
Wall to wall sun even brought a Red Admiral out to totter past a reasonable crowd of birders watching the skulker flitting around in a line of Sea Buckthorn, willow and birch scrub in a dry slack just to the west of the fenceline willow where it usually hangs out.
Far too zippity for the likes of me, but this didn’t stop me taking a few blurs in between watching it as it fed in the tangle of branches before flying back over the dune ridge to the fenceline area.
Apologies for the visual migraines…

The bird called a few times and showed well enough to see all the salient features, including that lovely super and well, dusky, upperparts.
I heard folk wondering how it was found out in such a relatively remote area of the dune system, and there are simply two reasons.
Firstly Andy Spottiswood is the only person who covers this specific area of the coast relentlessly during the spring and autumn passage periods, with patience and real diligence.
He prefers to quietly and methodically cover an area day in, day out.
All of his discoveries are richly deserved and the result of hard work – and enduring many blank days.
You won’t see Andy tazzing about like a demented birding pinball after other folks’ finds (yup, I know, I’m bang to rights there).
Even a small crowd like that today would probably see him heading in the opposite direction.
He just keeps walking.
And secondly Andy is an exceptionally good birder.

Thanks for the birds my friend….

7 thoughts on “Mr Skulkypants.

    • The bird is in an area by the seaward side of the Ainsdale National Nature Reserve sheep enclosure. If you walk in from Pinfold Lane, Ainsdale, cross the busy coast road, over the railway bridge, walk onto the Natural England reserve and take the Pinfold Path on the right into the pines.
      Follow the path out of the pine belt and bear right until you reach the grazing enclosure fenceline.
      Then go anti-clockwise right around the grazing enclosure fenceline for half an hour or so.
      When you are on the western side, walk south along the fenceline until you pass a large holly bush on your right.
      About 200m past that several old railway sleepers are embedded into the track, but are largely covered over, and can be easy to miss.
      The bird hangs about a single willow on the other side of the fence at this point, or goes into a slack area edged with scrub over the dune ridge on your right.
      Alternatively you could walk south from my office at Ainsdale Discovery Centre (PR8 2QB) through the dunes, but you would have to know when to cut inland to hit the fenceline and head south….you can do this approximately 15 minutes walk south of the ADC.
      It should be noted that the bird can be as elusive as only a Dusky can at times…


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