NLRG was formed in 1957 to help in the study of birds in the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society area. There are currently 12 active ringers. Species currently being studied include: Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Sand Martin, Twite, Goosander, Oystercatcher and Grey Wagtail. Migration has been studied for 28 years at Heysham. We welcome anyone who wants to observe, help or perhaps wish to become a ringer. Photo: A Heysham-ringed Twite on the Mull of Kintyre (thanks to Eddie Maguire)

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Godwit update

Luckily there are no photos in today's report!  Since Saturday a total of 15 sightings of Godwit have been made at Leighton Moss of 12 individuals with a peak count of 2,100.  600 birds have also been seen at Condor which included at least two colour ringed birds.  These are certainly different individuals to those present at Leighton Moss.  I'll update the blog in a few days with a summary of the birds seen locally.

On Saturday I predicted today was the day to see birds migrating.  When I arrived at the Allen Pools this evening it was clear the Redshank were more excited than yesterday and the numbers of Godwit had dropped significantly.  The noise from the 1,000 Redshank was incredible with constant calling and all the groups were jumpy.  This is part was due to disturbance however a lot was due to them being ready to head North to breed.

When I arrived there were only about 100 Godwit on the pools.  At around 19:30 a group of 40 took off noisily and circled over the pools before heading North, briefly returning over the pools before heading North West at height with great determination.  Soon afterwards another group of about 40 did the same leaving about 25 Godwit on the pools. I thought all that was left for the evening was for the Redshank to do the same however they showed little interest in moving out.  At around 19:50 a flock of about 400 Godwit flew up from the Heysham area gaining height as they flew North.  Roughly over Arnside they circled and gained more height before flying North East.  They soon reappeared and like previous flocks circled over the pools before heading North East once again gaining height and disappeared into a fantastic sunset.

This evening is one of the most memorable migration sights I have had in the UK.  Autumn mornings on the East coast can be spectacular with huge numbers of birds coming off the sea however this is nothing compared to seeing birds departing en masse with the huge amounts of chatter between individuals in a flock.

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