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.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Not before time.

With JB on an overdue days local
patching. Johns records will as always
contain more species accounts than mine and he'll certainly have counted more than me on the day to my continuing shame, and also probably seen the odd bird or two which I missed the best example being a Merlin at Cockersands.

First bird seen at Conder Green was a Greenshank in the Conder channel, 2 Grey Plover also here, and 8 Snipe were noted in the creeks, 2 Goldeneye were on Conder Pool, and 3 Little Grebe were noted.

On Glasson canal basin, at least 140 Tufted Ducks were to note, as were 12 drake Pochard and 2 Great-crested Grebe.

On the Lune Estuary, with the exception of 2 Goosander and 4 Goldeneye all are estimates, 1,500 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1,000 Golden Plover, 250 Dunlin, and 800 Wigeon.

From Fishnet Point, 3 Bewick's Swan, c.125 Goldeneye, c.450 Wigeon, c.120 Black-tailed Godwit, and 4 Pochard. I confess to not giving this area the time it needed perhaps to locate SP's (don't 'give' names without permit on the blog anymore) hybrid drake American Wigeon x Wigeon, but you can't do everything/be everywhere at once......can you?

At Cockersands, large numbers of waders in the fields here today included up to 800 Golden Plover and 550 Redshank. The c.250 Pink-footed Geese in the field opposite Bank Houses seen a week ago are still here. From the Caravan Park the wintering 1w male Stonechat, seen again as one of the easiest birds in the area to consistently find, also noted, c.50 Pintail, and at least 900 Wigeon made a combined Glasson/Cockersands total estimate of 2,150 birds.

Near Hillam Lane up to 60 Fieldfare seen.

Opposite Sand Villa from the A588, 2 Bewick's Swans, 4 Whooper Swans (2 juveniles).

Pilling Marsh was quiet save c.200 Pink-footed Geese and c.750 Shelduck noted, another c.2,500 Pink-footed Geese were at Fluke Hall, and a Little Egret in a ditch from Fluke Hall Lane was - unusually - the only one seen all day.

Outside the area at Bradshaw Lane Head a Short-eared Owl was hunting for the 30 minutes we spent there giving a feel of the hard life these birds have seeking out a meal for survival. It/these birds must have been here something like two months now and you just wonder how many small mammals they must have taken from this area for food......a phenomenal number is the only suggestion I can make.

The pic taken a while back now from the metal hide by the Heysham power station outfall and showing the ebb tide leaving behind it patterns and textures on the sands.
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