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, 17 February 2009

Local Marathon.

With JB today we had quite a tour round to find some but not others, some of the 'finds' follow.

Before we left home I saw one of the 'urban' Grey Wagtail's from our kitchen window. At Conder Green 2 male Stonechat remain here though there was no sign of the female today. The Common Sandpiper obliged as did a Spotted Redshank, 3 Little Grebe, and c.40 Black-tailed Godwit went over from the estuary towards Jeremy Lane. A Great - spotted Woodpecker flew from the picnic area towards the canal basin at Glasson Dock were an adult Med Gull was seen. On the Lune Estuary here another adult Med Gull seen, also noted here, 2 Bewick's Swans with estimates of 220 Black - tailed Godwit, 1,500 Bar - tailed Godwit, and 470 Golden Plover, 8 Goosander were also of note here. A Little Egret was distant on Collowy Marsh.

A brief visit to Cockersands gave me time to note just 5 Black - tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover, and 3 Red - breasted Merganser on the estuary. The wintering male Stonechat appears to have departed the area, not seen since 28 January. From Moss Lane 3 Bewick's Swan's and 4 Whooper Swan's were distant with Mute Swan's.

In the field opposite Sand Villa - with limited time available - were 95+ 'swan's' estimated as 70+ Whooper Swan's, 5 Bewick's Swan's, and the remainder Mute Swan's. A Little Egret was the only bird of note on Pilling Marsh, another was in Fluke Hall Wood. On Fluke Hall Lane c.1,000 Pink - footed Geese with similar numbers in the Eagland Hill area and on Horse Park Lane. This brings me to the missing birds again today, if you can find them - or some other kind soul does and phones them in to RBA - there are Bean Geese, White - fronted Geese, Brent Geese, and Ross's x Pink - footed Goose hybrid to be seen but they have ALL evaded me on a few visits to the area recently. As if to rub salt into the wound, two minutes after I arrived home at around 4.45 the pager gave three local messages out as the aforementioned birds at Pilling Marsh, Backsands Lane, Eagland Hill, and The Heads......Pooh!

The Short - eared Owl pic at Bradshaw Lane head last week is just about passable as decent. Believe it or not I took several shots of this bird and on not one of them - that didn't end up in the bin - was the bird looking at me. Surely these birds are soon to be off up into the hill's and with none seen today perhaps this has already happened.

Apologise for the empty pic boxes on the last two post's. I loose the first pic at the point of publishing? Then I get the second pic up and end up with the empty box and have yet to discover how to get rid of it......HELP!!

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