Tuesday, 7 July 2009

M'cbe & 'Mossing'.

Much as I would have loved to have gone to the 'uplands' today the weather told me not to bother. I see no fun in getting to the far upper reaches of Harrisend/Hawthornthwaite and Whinfold Fell's for things to turn nasty and buckets full of water rained down on you......I'm not that weird. So the plan was to check out the 'gulls' from Broadway to Teal Bay and then to head off to the 'moss' where at least you have a chance of dodging the showers between hides and in any case what about the Bairds Sandpiper everyone else has missed. Having confessed my sins last week I can only hope to be forgiven just one more time for venturing once again to LM.

Well the 'gull's' at Morecambe didn't take much effort but at Teal Bay at least 50 Eider were seen and a Whimbrel was of note. It was notable and interesting that all the Eider were female/juvenile with the exception of one moulting male. Now I'm at LM and nothing of great interest was seen until I reached the Public Hide were 20 minutes earlier - whilst I was in the Lower Hide - according to the pager service the Hobby was still over Island Mere, well it wasn't when I arrived there and wasn't when I left 40 minutes later......ahhh well can't win 'em all. A Bittern was seen briefly in flight and dropping into the reeds, 5 juvenile Marsh Harrier put on a good display whilst harrying a male with prey in its talon's, a Reed Warbler gave excellent views in the reeds close to the hide, not an every day occurrence to see this bird as good as this, and 5 Fallow Deer seen from the hide were in a field off Silverdale Road.
At Eric M'cbe Hide where the water level has dropped considerably leaving the complex in good condition for visiting waders. I noted 5 Little Gull, 7 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, a juvenile Little - ringed Plover, 3 Avocet, c.320 Black - tailed Godwit, and 2 young unfledged Redshank were also of note. I also had a 'play' with my improvised photographic equipment during the visit and managed a second rate shot of a Cormorant 'drying out'.

I just managed to get back to the car from the Eric M'cbe Hide when the heavens opened up and I drove home in some typical English summer weather with windscreen wipers working overtime......wonderful stuff!


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Sorry you missed the hobby. I was very lucky, right place,right time. Feel free to use the images of this lovely bird. There were actually two hobbies in the area, possibly nesting ??? I see they have been there for a few days.You have had another interesting day. The fallow deer was a nice find.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes always 'right place right time' in this birding scene Brian. The birds are obviously breeding close by, that cannot possibly be a secret given this/these bird/s are hunting here on a daily basis for the world to see.

Thanks for comments Brian.

Richard Shilling said...

Hi Pete, I went to LM for the first time last week when we were out for a walk around Silverdale. Really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place but saw nothing remarkable on the birding front (coots and black headed gulls). But we did see a cormorant having a big scrap with an eel! I got some quite good video of it, will have to post it soon, if you want to put it on your blog here let me know, dead easy to do from Flickr.

Oh and another thing I meant to ask you. I've maybe once seen a heron with another but never more than two together. We were down by the Lune a few weeks ago and there were at least a dozen roosting together. Is that a favourite spot of theirs?

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for comments Rich.

Your count of 'at least a dozen' Grey Heron on the River Lune is nothing exceptional Rich as double figure numbers are probably not unusual on occasions I would have thought. For your interest the largest Heronries are at Dallam and Tunstall with 63/33 nests respectively in 2007. Hard to believe you saw 'nothing remarkable' at Leighton Moss recently......better come with me sometime which you would be most welcome to do so Rich.