Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Hangover....

The day started well enough.

Temperatures were up into double figures for the first time in weeks and the birds along the Wirral Way as I cycled in clearly thought this herladed the start of Spring.

You don't realise how great birdsong is until you hear it start up after the silence of a cold snap.


Dunnocks may not be the most stunning bird but the male singing away this morning was a most welcome sight. He was joined by a melodic Robin and a very earnest Great Tit singing from the hawthorns as I cruised past on the Super Deluxe.

This was as good as things got today. After the amazing afternoon spent in the company of the Blackwits yesterday I was straight down to the shore for (I expected ) more of the same.

Not so. Today was greyer than the greysest day in Greytown and there was a very odd atmosphere hanging like mist over the estuary.

After a few moments of contemplation I was able to figure iout what it was.

A hangover. It felt just like a monster of a hangover.

It was as if there had been a huge party on the Dee that only the birds had been invited to and we had arrived to witness the aftermath.

About 2,000 Blackwits were missing, gone off in a huff after a drunken row with the Oystercatchers. The Oycs were still very aggressive, obviously still a few issues to resolve from the revelry. They were the only things showing any animation and making any noise.

The Pintail looked thoroughly knackered. All were roosting save for a couple drifting aimlessly along the near empty channel. Still a really attractive duck though.



The handful of Blackwits left were all roosting too, standing on one leg too, making ring spotting pointless. Half a code is useless!
Plenty of Dunlin here, much bigger flocks than normal, but guess what? All roosing too.

The only birds feeding are the Teal, they've obviously got the munchies and are enjoying the Teal equivalent of a donner kebab. The air is so still that all the noise on the flats is easy to hear. The Teal are noisy eaters.

Redshank are thin on the ground, and the three that are here start fighting, settling an argument from last night.
Moving further down towards Heswall I fancy I might find some Lapwing and Golden Plover in the fringe of the marsh. But guess what? All roosting.

Scan with the scope across the far stretches of the mudflats, I pick up some Knot, but to far to get numbers.
Guess what? All roosting.

Must have been a hell of a party....

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