Observatory reopens

30th March 2021 – early mist/fog then bright and sunny SSW2/1
After 83 days of closure due to lockdown restrictions a slight relaxation of rules from “stay at home” to “stay local” allows the observatory to resume activities, albeit in a reduced capacity to comply with the social distancing measures that remain in place. Please note that South Walney Nature Reserve is open though the hides and visitor centre remain closed.
At least one Water Pipit, now starting to attain summer plumage, remains amongst 50 Meadow Pipit and 3 Rock Pipit feeding in the flooded horse paddocks along Biggar Bank over the high tide.
An early morning check of the sea (0715-0815) revealed 44 Common Scoter and 17 Red-throated Diver.
Grounded Migrants
It appears that the birds have timed their arrival to coincide with the reopening of the observatory. Sightings were led by a Ring Ouzel amongst a fall of the commoner species which included: 134 Wheatear, 17 Goldcrest, 14 Chiffchaff and single Fieldfare, Redwing, Blackcap and White Wagtail.
Diurnal Migration
Meadow Pipit were also on the move with 390 birds logged along with 62 Pink-footed Goose, 20 Linnet, 12 Pied Wagtail and 12 Sand Martin.
Wildfowl and Waders
The Brent Goose flock held 430 pale-bellied birds and waders included: 15,000 Knot and 32 Snipe.
A Merlin and 3 Water Rail were the best of the rest.
A Small Tortoiseshell was on the wing.