Atlas Advent

Stolen Rags, formerly Steals hence the ‘clothing down sale’ sign

Walking down Cheapside, central Blackpool towards the office today I heard a Grey Wagtail ‘chipping’ overhead. It landed on the roof of the clothes shop pictured above, and promptly started singing. By the time I had the phone set it moved out of view, so yes I am offering you a picture of the less flattering aspect of a shop.

I did write about the Grey Wagtails that nest in central Blackpool in the early days of this blog. I remain fascinated that they use these rooftops to breed on, it’s a world apart from the upland streams they normally use. I have already said that it seemed so unlikely that I didn’t believe my own ears a couple of years before they were confirmed nesting at the Pleasure Beach.

Whilst I was seawatching at North Shore on Monday a Pied Wagtail was also singing, but with remarkable volume and gusto. The Collins Guide sums up what was going on neatly:

“Normal song very plain and simple, a few twittering notes, a pause, then a few more notes followed by further pauses etc.; the whole gives impression of being reflective and does not always sound like ‘proper’ song. The opposite is so with the ecstatic song variant, used in excitement, in territorial conflicts and when mobbing Cuckoo or Sparrowhawk, a long, very fast series of indignant chirping notes.”

I have agreed to take on much of the Fylde part of the Lancaster breeding atlas which starts in a couple of weeks. The rough area I will be covering is set out below. I look forward to sharing with you the sights and sounds of that fieldwork.

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