Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Grange-Over Sands Holiday day 4

After torrential rain yesterday we woke up to a new enemy, The wind! It was horrendous, people were taking down their ornings on the campsite to stop them blowing away. Having said that, there was hardly a cloud in the sky, and those that were quickly moved on, so we decided to go to Arnside. This is a small town on the edge of the bay that last time had an abundance of bold herons as well as cormorants and greater black backed gulls that were butchering flounders.
However, today was not a patch on last time, as most of the birds we saw were on the train journey there. These included plenty of shelducks on the saltmarsh, an abundant bird in these parts that we had so far missed out on during this holiday. However, there were plenty of them today, in two clusters of about 20 each, and then more on the mud.
Driving over the river Kent on the train I spotted some redshanks feeding in the mud, as well as a curlew or two. Arriving in Arnside I headed straight to the beach to look for fossils, of which, over the course of the day, I found many. These included corals and bivalves.
Sadly, I didn't see a single heron, and the one cormorant was flying upstream. The Greater black backed gulls did nothing more than sleep, and the only other birds were the black headed gulls, and the odd pied wagtail.
On the way back from our beach walk, My brother found these sea gooseberries on the beach, which was just about the only thing I took a photo of all day, but were quite interesting.

-Sea Gooseberries
We caught the train back, and were in grange for half 3. We decided to go for a coffee, but on the way we would check in on the blackbird nest to see how they were doing. On the way to the blackbird nest, we passed the bar headed geese feeding quite close to the path, so i bobbed down to take a few photos.

-Bar Headed Goose
At the blackbird nest I was quite surprised to see how much they had grown. They were now covered in protofeathers (if that's the correct term) and seemed really awake and lively. Sadly, once more, I was unable to get any photos of what they looked like due to the entrance to the nest being round the back, so all the chicks were facing that way. However, from my attempt you can see that they had matured from the previous photo. Still unusual to see such well developed chicks this early in the year.

-Blackbird Chicks

Overall, quite a disappointing day on the birdwatching front, but I did find some pretty interesting fossils, as well as being able to catch up on the blackbirds for a last time before we head off home.

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