27th September

A lovely morning to be walking on Walney again and lots of birds about today, especially skylarks, which seem to be flocking, perhaps before heading south. Few swallows now. Driving in, I saw two stonechats, near where the family had been earlier in summer and then a second group of 2-3 on willows near the fishing pool.

Along the path through the gorse, plenty of autumn colour: reddening bramble leaves, bright rose hips and woody nightshade berries. Enjoyed sitting by the smart new table. Feeders well stocked but quiet while I was there. Then along the edge of the saltmarsh and a merlin was perched on a post preening. I have looked many times in the past but this was the first time I have seen one there. Very exciting! It kept its eye on me but was not disturbed so I had plenty of time to admire it.

On the heath, still some heather flowering and a few harebells. A great spotted woodpecker flew over calling. Dipped down into the sphagnum bog and flushed four snipe. It was just one of those good days.

The sun broke through and, as I walked back by the long pool, there were a few common darters flitting about. Teal coming into breeding plumage and a few little grebe. Watched one surface with a little silvery fish in its beak. Just one butterfly, a small copper by the dunes. Probably more about this afternoon. A few parasol mushrooms, real beauties.

Then back along the shore and out on the sands. A coven of cormorant, 50+ out on the edge, plus usual oystercatchers, curlew, gulls, a drake eider hauled out and two mergansers fishing in a pool amongst the far shingle.

Jenny England

Weasel at the feeders

The feeders were hung yesterday and topped up for the first time today, and we had a little weasel that was very interested, it’s curiosity took it to within three feet from the dogs,

A new table top has been also fitted, much cleaner to lay the snacks on.

Bob has been busy over the weekend, thinning out the gorse across the path, it was getting really narrow, even the dogs complained.

Bob and Bri

Blackberries

This year the brambles are full of large juicy blackberries and this morning we found the droppings of a fox and it had been on a diet of blackberries , see photo. Further down the path both dogs decided to help themselves, and no doubt the evidence will be there tomorrow. If you are afraid of spiders blackberrying can be frightening.

Bob and Bri

Flying Ants

This afternoon when the sun came out it was up in the middle 20’s and the birds were having a fill of flying ants, Swallows and Starling resting together on the airfield fence in between feeds, Black headed gulls along with Herring and Lesser Blackback were also out to hoover up there prey. Managed some shots of the Swallows.

Bri