From The Ridiculous To The Sublime

Snow Bunting from my archives taken on Out Skerries

After yesterday’s unseasonal Swallow I decided to try and see some birds more appropriate to December on the Fylde Coast this morning. I was tail walking at Fleetwood Promenade parkrun and got there early to have a look for the Snow Buntings, which have increased to four birds recently.

On a crisp sunny morning there were a few anglers and dog walkers out, so I wasn’t hugely surprised when I didn’t locate the birds in the time I had. I then set out up the Prom at the back of the group of runners and my luck was in, as the birds flew in and landed feet away from the Promenade.

Snow Buntings really are delightful birds. At all ages and plumages they blend in surprisingly well among the beach detritus, but when you do pick them out their subtle blends of white, buff and black are attractive. They are also confiding enough for the patient observer to get really good views.

This continues a very good run (no pun intended) of birds I’ve seen whilst volunteering at local park runs. The undoubted highlight was the Chough I relocated at Stanley Park in 2017, a remarkable record. I’ve also had migrant Wood Warbler in the park and Twite and Brent Geese at Fleetwood.

Below is a photograph of me taken by Sue Ashton, who was marshalling at the parkrun. As you can see when I tail walk the parkrun I always make sure I have binoculars to hand. The gentleman in front of me is Mike Walsh, who in his mid 90s still does the 5k event every week then helps marshal the junior 2k on Sundays, a great effort.

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