BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT. PETE WOODRUFF.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Bay

No not the radio station....Morecambe
Bay. If you're going to give this area a
'going over' for its bird life then you
really cannot do it without admiring the beauty of this place especially on a day like today. Compared to yesterdays disaster regarding the weather this was perfect and the view across the bay is comparable with any other in this country I would suggest. Anyway......the birds.

I was attracted to the Black-tailed Godwits at Broadway again today, and as Sunday they were in good number with at least 500 here which was around 200 down from Sunday, I also counted 38 Eider off here, but a diving bird took my eye which turned out to be the star bird of the day as it was a female Common Scoter, not a bird you see in this part of the bay with anything like regularity. Also to note were 3 Goldeneye, barely a shadow of yesteryear with this species in the bay, 36 Ringed Plover and a lone Red-breasted Merganser made it into my note book. But the best count of wader for the day was 170 Turnstones between here and the Stone Jetty which will prompt me to search my records to probably find I never counted so many Turnstone anywhere before as high as this. At Teal Bay the three Scaup were at Scalestone again. Wader numbers were beginning to build up as the tide raced in and there was probably 200 more Black-tailed Godwit here with c.120 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Pintail were of note and 23 Eider drifted by on the tide though I wondered if these were a part of the group from Broadway.

From Broadway to the Stone Jetty - other than a serious but failed search for a least one Med Gull - I drew a blank and according to other reports 'missed' the Purple Sandpiper and a Guillemot off the jetty end earlier in the day.

Simon Hawtins photograph of one of the Whasset Cattle Egrets has prompted one of the birders I mentioned 'suggesting' a juvenile reviewing this and concludes that having had better views recently both birds bills are yellow, though he still feels one is brighter than the other......interesting. Apparently both these and the Urswick bird have moved on so three in our area any day soon!

I note a Hooded Crow has been seen in a field at Quernmore and suggestions it may be the bird seen at Birk Bank on 29 October means it has eluded us for five weeks.
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5 comments:

Pete Marsh said...

Interesting Turnstone status. That's certainly a high count of Turnstone for that section (based on 10 years of low/medium high tide counts for work) - wonder if the Aldren's Hedge-feeding birds have moved to that side. Interestingly, there are also fewer than usual around Heysham wooden jetty. As regards high numbers, try the spring passage along the north harbour wall/wooden jetty for the biggest counts in this area, usually peaking mid-late April.

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for comments Pete. The Turnstone breakdown is 60/50/20/40 the latter being on the wooden jetty by the stone jetty where I apparently 'missed' the Purple Sandpiper but think more precisely it wasn't there.

The 60 birds represents a 'good' number for the species from my records but the others added as I progressed along the prom was a surprise for me.

Thanks for Hooded Crow alert. By the way hope I wasn't supposed to alert you to the female Common Scoter off Broadway yesterday thinking the pager sufficed.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Hi Pete
I had thought that one of the birds had a "less yellow" beak than the other. Is is only when I looked at a magnified image that you could see it was more likey a mud tideline!
Simon
Simon Hawtin

Pete Woodruff said...

You may have read that one of the birders I mentioned who 'suggested' the possibility of a juvenile has now had better views of the birds and comes to the conclusion that both birds bills are yellow, helped I may add by your excellent 'close up'.

I know this is going to become a bit repetitive but thanks for your comments Simon.