BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

By way....

....of a change I was out with JB/BT today instead of Friday the problem there being, my brain is in such a state that I'll wonder why it isn't Saturday when I wake up tomorrow.

Its as well we wasn't pitted against DH/SW in a competition at Aldcliffe this morning as they would have buried us with some excellent birding results. Freemans Pools was quiet when we arrived there at 10.30 with not a Little - ringed Plover in sight. I noted just 3 Gadwall and 2 drake Shoveler on the pool with a singing male Blackcap heard, a Little Egret was near the wildfowlers pool. Our visit here also finished probably three hours sooner than the aforementioned did.

At Conder Green 3 Spotted Redshank are well on their way to attaining there unique transformation to black summer plumage, just one Little - ringed Plover was on the terrace at the rear of Conder Pool. On the estuary at Glasson Dock a Black Swan was drifting upstream with the Mute Swan's on the surge of an incoming tide. Also to note, c.500 Black - tailed Godwit, c.150 Bar - tailed Godwit, 2 Red - breasted Merganser, and the last remaining Goldeneye in this area - a drake - has transferred from the pool to the river. From Bodie Hill at least 30 Meadow Pipit were noted over going NE.

Cockersands was quiet with a solitary dark Eider and Red - breasted Merganser, c.70 Ringed Plover seen again as last Friday with a similar number of Dunlin. I had to note a pair of Linnet on the headland to fill the empty space in my book. The only bird of note on Pilling Marsh being void of any 'geese' was a Little Egret.

The highlight of the day was at least 22 Wheatear on the sea defences behind Fluke Hall Wood and is a number of this species I never saw together before and was some spectacle. Also noted here 5 Stock Dove, and c.40 Meadow Pipit over going East. JB will record the sightings at Bradhaw Lane - and indeed the entire day's - much more comprehensive than me, but a Weasel running down the track away from us soon returned running back towards us complete with a vole which it has obviously killed the instant its jaws sunk into the unfortunate creature. A few Swallow were seen at various places today but in my view numbers so far this year have been low and my highest count remains at no more than five together.

The pic of the Black Swan is a bird not included on the British List but has a colony at Dawlish in Devon which is so well associated with the town that it has been its emblem for something like 40 years.






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