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.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Spring....not quite.

The weather forecast wasn't good for today so I thought an early start might be a good idea. As it turned out the day wasn't all that bad with even a little hazy sun on occasions. Well I don't think 8.30am can really be regarded as 'early' certainly not were my days as a milkman are concerned when I was out and about by 4.30am hail, rain, wind, or shine, smoking the weeds but still fit as the proverbial fiddle......enough of this and to bird's.
At Aldcliffe a White Wagtail (the pics not all that brilliant but at least shows the bird for what it is) was immediately found on the flood soon followed by a Little Egret flying off the wildfowlers pool. At Freemans Pools the pair of Little - ringed Plover were a delight to watch and were eventually actually pairing. They may well need some luck to be successful though, see http://birdingaldcliffe.blogspot.com/ to read about some unwanted visitors here. Also noted on the pools, I lost count of the Gadwall with the excitement of the LRP's but at least six seen, otherwise it was quiet with just a Goldeneye to add. On the marsh just 3 Pink - footed Geese sat around made this the most accurate count of mine of this species all winter.

At Conder Green the tide was well up which made my visit here confined to the pool where the Little - ringed Plover pair showed well along with the resident Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank, Spotted Redhank, and 5 Goldeneye. The biggest surprise on here was in fact a male Linnet and incidentally, I had a report from a reliable birder that another reliable birder had seen four LRP's on Conder Pool on Sunday but as yet have not seen any mention of this record anywhere else. On the Lune estuary at Glasson Dock I noted - with more circa records - up to 1,000 Redshank, 350 Bar - tailed Godwit, 500 Black - tailed Godwit, 600 Knot, and a Goosander with not a single Goldeneye in sight.

At Cockersands for my notes, at least 40 Eider was a good count here, I don't know my best count of this species here until I check the records. Two Red - breasted Merganser were noted, a Wheatear, a male Reed Bunting, 2 Swallow went through, a couple of Skylark in song, and the 130 Linnet seen again. I made no attempt to count the Brown Hare here today but saw at least 20 again making this area one of the best I know for this creature.

On Pilling Marsh a 1w European White - fronted Goose was with c.650 Pink - footed Geese. And at Fluke Hall 5 Wheatear, 3 Dunnock, and 2 more Swallow through. At 3.50pm I made a dash for my car when the rain finally reached here and pointed the bonnet towards Lancaster perhaps a little sooner than planned.

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